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Church of St Catherine

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According to the testimony of Ludovico Iacobilli, the Church of Santa Caterina (St Catherine’s) was built in 1225 as a religious building annexed to the convent of the Order of the Poor Claires (also called Vergini del Campo or Virgins of the Field), cloistered nuns of the second Franciscan order founded by St. Claire of Assisi.

Today the small church is the only part remaining of the entire monastic complex, which stood outside the 13th century city walls not far from the current Parco dei Canapè. From 1869, when the nuns transferred to the convent of St. Lucia, the building was gradually dismantled and used for various purposes: barracks, a seed warehouse, a garage for the agricultural machinery of the Sugar Factory of Foligno and more, until it was taken over by the local arts and architecture supervision office at the end of the twentieth century, which allowed the former church to be used as a special space for exhibitions, concerts and conferences.

The church has a monumental façade decorated with a stringcourse cornice with three-lobed hanging arches. In the lower part there is the main entrance door decorated with twisted columns and pillars crowned with acanthus-leaf capitals, while in the upper part one can see the beautiful rose window.

Inside, the large space consists of a single nave divided into two levels: the lower choir area, also called the choir stalls of the nuns, was reserved for the cloister nuns; the upper choir area was used for public ceremonies. The two rooms were connected with each other through a small window behind the central altar, from which the nuns could hear Mass and receive communion, without being seen and without seeing anything.

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