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PERUGIA Art and religion - Church of Sant' Ercolano


Church of Saint Ercolano
Church of Saint Ercolano
Similar to a massive tower in structure, this octagonal building was erected near the ancient Etruscan fortifications exactly where this patron saint of Perugia was martyred. Ercolano was in fact bishop of Perugia when the Goths, led by Totila, besieged the city in 547AD.

As a ploy to convince the besieging Goths that the city was able to withstand their siege with ease, Ercolano took the city's only remaining calf, fed on the last reserves of grain, and threw it over the city walls. The Goths had in fact already decided to lift the siege before a young cleric named Laurentius ingenuously revealed Ercolano's ploy to Totila.


Porta Cornea
Porta Cornea
Perugia was consequently stormed, burnt, and Bishop Ercolano beheaded.
The Church of Saint Ercolano was built between 1297 and 1326, in Gothic style.

The upper storey of the church was demolished when the Rocca Paolina was built, to open up the view from the fortress over the valley below.

The double staircase dates back to 1607. The interior also was altered in the 17th century, although the Gothic structure is still visible. The altar is a Roman sarcophagus from the 3rd-4th century and contains the remains of the saint.



Chiesa di San Domenico
Corso Cavour, Scalette di Sant'Ercolano [old town centre]
Perugia, 06122

Info: Ph. +39 0755722297

Timetable of Holy Mass:
Sundays and holidays: 10.30am


APM (Public municipal bus transport authority): stopped bus - Tre Archi, Piazza Partigiani [only 100 meters away]
Linea 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13s, 13d, 15, 81, 82, 83, 87, bis28, bis31, bis33, bis34, bis39, bis41, bis44, bis50

Disabled access available



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