The Church of the Dominican Order
The Gothic Church of San Domenico was built in two phases, from 1300 to 1458, on the pre-existing 5th-century Pieve di Santo Stefano del Castellare by Dominican friars who had settled in Perugia since 1230. In time the Order assumed an important role in both religious and political life, so that a grand new basilica, was begun from designs by Giovanni Pisano.
In the early 1600s, the Basilica suffered ruinous collapses due to static problems and was only rebuilt in 1632, by Carlo Maderno. The lowering of the vaults - decided by Maderno - gave rise to large ceilings, empty spaces that can be visited today, in which parts of the older, medieval church are visible.
Of the original Gothic complex of the church, today, all that is left is the cloister (1455-1579), the presbytery, the chapel of St. Catherine with 14th- and 15th-century frescoes, a large rose window, and the bell tower.