The construction of the Church of San Francesco al Prato, the first Franciscan church after the one built in Assisi, dates back to 1251. The church became an important site in Perugia when Egidio (1190-1262), a disciple of Saint Francis, was buried there. The church remained uncovered for years due to the collapse of the vaults caused by landslides on the hill. The altars and chapels were lost, while the polychrome façade was restored in 1926 by the architect Pietro Angelini. In the early 2000s a substantial restoration, based on an original project by Bruno Signorini, was started to transform the building into an auditorium.
One of the most important sites in the history of the city of Perugia, the Church of San Francesco was embellished by precious works of art: the Baglioni Altarpiece, today in the Borghese Gallery, and the Coronation of the Virgin (known as the Oddi Altarpiece), both by Raphael, and the Resurrection by Perugino, the latter preserved in the Vatican. The Church is also known for having been the Pantheon of Perugia, where the major families of the city had their tombs, together with captains, jurists and men of letters. The adjacent convent, which includes the Oratory of San Bernardino, has been home to the ‘Pietro Vannucci’ Academy of Fine Arts and its museum since the beginning of the 20th century.