Tourist Attraction in Sant'Agata De'Goti: Chiesa e Convento di San Francesco
In the first half of the fifteenth century a small Franciscan community was housed in the now demolished church of San Francesco Vetere outside the walls, founded, according to the interpretation of some scholars, by the same Saint during his journey to Avellino on his return from the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo del Gargano at the beginning of the thirteenth century. Two centuries later the Franciscans of Sant'Agata had in the second husband of Giovanna II Queen of Naples, a supporter: Giacomo di Borbone, in fact, married in 1415 to the queen, in 1435, after a life of intrigues and battles, took vows in Order by withdrawing to France. At that time the feudal lords of Sant'Agata were the De la Rath, a Catalan family protected by the Queen and by Alfonso of Aragon; the Franciscans obtained from them the possibility of abandoning the small isolated structure on the hill continually prey of thieves and of receiving a convent and a church inside the village. Remodeled in the eighteenth century, an era in which the Order was very involved in secular life, the church of San Francesco contains elements of different dates such as the tomb of Ludovico Artus, feudatory of Sant'Agata until 1370, the wooden ceiling 18th century chest of drawers and a precious pavement painted in the Neapolitan workshop of Maestro Giuseppe Massa, originally from Pietrastornina (Av), author of the cloister of Santa Chiara in Naples, depicting scenes from the life of Saint Francis, as well as a succession of votive chapels marked by the coats of arms local patrician families. In the eighteenth century the convent was partially renovated, with the addition of the splendid marble portal at the entrance; in the nineteenth century, with the reuse of the structure as a Municipal House, on the first floor was built the Sala Consiliare, frescoed with landscapes of Santagati and with a painting of 1899 depicting the Saint, by the painter Vincenzo Severino, full of Masonic meanings. The former convent preserves the internal division into monastic cells and the cloister, which houses the memorial stele of the original monastic house.