The Church of Sant’Agostino


You are now on the south side of the city of Siena, on the hill named for Saint Agatha, dominated by the majestic ancient church of Sant’Agostino. Construction on the building began in 1259 following the recognition of the Order of the Hermits of Saint Augustine by Pope Alexander IV. Together with the other churches of the mendicant orders, it bears witness to the new concept of religious life developed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Concomitantly with the rapid expansion of the city, the Hermits of Saint Augustine, who up until then had been devoted to contemplation and solitary meditation in the nearby forest of Lecceto and its surroundings, established a presence in Siena to respond to the new demands for evangelization of the growing population. In order to have room for the great number of God’s people, the Augustinians built this vast church characterized by one large interior space. From the beginning the church enjoyed considerable prestige and was a pilgrimage site for the faithful who came to pray in front of the relics of Blessed Agostino Novello, transported here after his death in 1309 at the Augustinian hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago, near Siena. A famous altarpiece depicting the saint and his miracles was painted after his death by the Sienese artist Simone Martini in 1328 and now hangs in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena, not far from the . . .
  • Church of Sant'Agostino, view of the exterior.
  • Church of Sant'Agostino, view of the interior.