Foundation Day in San Marino in 2020

Foundation Day in San Marino in 2020
Monte Titano, San Marino at sunset. Image via Deposit Photos
  How long until Foundation Day?
This holiday next takes place in 294 days.
  Dates of Foundation Day in San Marino
2021 San Marino Fri, Sep 3 National Holiday
2020 San Marino Thu, Sep 3 National Holiday
2019 San Marino Tue, Sep 3 National Holiday
2018 San Marino Mon, Sep 3 National Holiday
  Summary
San Marino was founded in 301 AD by St. Marinus, a stone mason from Croatia who wanted to escape persecution by the emperor Diocletian

When is San Marino Foundation Day?

San Marino National Holiday and Foundation of the Republic is observed on September 3rd each year.

It commemorates the foundation of San Marino on this day in 301 AD by Saint Marinus.

History of San Marino Foundation Day

The Republic of San Marino is a landlocked nation surrounded by Italy. It is the smallest republic in the world and the oldest existing state in Europe.

In the centuries after the death of Jesus, Christianity had become a popular sect within the Roman Empire. For many years it was treated no worse or better than any other minority religion. During the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284 - 306 AD), the imperial view of Christianity became less benign and Christians were increasingly being persecuted and killed for their faith.

In this atmosphere, Marinus, a stonemason, fled from Dalmatia (in modern-day Croatia) to escape from religious persecution for his Christian beliefs. He arrived at Monte Titano, where he founded and built a chapel and a monastery. 

Over the years, the monastery and the area around it grew until a sizable population had been established, safe high in the mountains from the persecution of Diocletian. When the mountain people were discovered, the landowner Felicissima bequeathed it to the community in perpetuity.

The monastery, which although no longer standing, existed until the late sixth century. The first mention of a church named after Saint Marinus dates to the year 530. Today the old church has been replaced on the site by the Basilica of San Marino, which was built in the 19th century.

Did you know?

San Marino is the only country in Europe with more vehicles than people.

San Marino is the only remaining Italian city-state and in recognition of its status as one of the oldest republics, San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano were included in the list of UNESCO world heritage site in 2008.

To mark the national day, there are lots of events such as crossbow firing and flag-waving and concerts. The day is ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

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