The Basilica of St. Maria di Collemaggio is a masterpiece of Romanesque art and a glory of L’Aquila. It was built in 1288 for want of the hermit Pietro da Morrone, appointed pope Celestino V six years later in the same basilica.
In the very year of his election, Celestino V gave plenary indulgence to the whole humanity, issuing a papal bull of forgiveness, renown as the “Bolla della Perdonanza”, which gave the remission of sins to whom had entered every year the basilica on 28th and 29th August evenings. So Celestino V’s door, on the north side of the basilica, is considered a holy door. The mortal remains of the “pope of the great refusal”, how Dante Alighieri defined him, rest in the mausoleum of the basilica.