Ancona Cathedral

Cathedral of San Ciriaco (Piazzale duomo, duomo area) 07152688 Municipality of Ancona (Largo XXIV Maggio, 1) 0712221

Ancona Cathedral

What to know about Ancona Cathedral

Why visit the Cathedral of San Ciriaco  

The Cathedral of San Ciriaco is the seat of the archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo and is, from a historical and architectural point of view, one of the most interesting buildings in Romanesque style - with Byzantine influences - in all of Italy. The cathedral stands in a very panoramic and suggestive position as it is raised on the top of the Guasco hill, where the acropolis was located during the period of the foundation of the city of Ancona by the Doric Greeks.

The history of the Cathedral of San Ciriaco

The cathedral of San Ciriaco as it appears today, stands on a previous building, a temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite, although according to some scholars the temple dates back to the fourth century. to. C. during the Greek colonization. The building was then modified in the sixth century. becoming an early Christian basilica dedicated to San Lorenzo, while towards the year 1017 this was enlarged while maintaining the three pre-existing naves; in 200 the bodies of the patron saints, San Marcellino and San Ciriaco were transferred to the crypt. Between the end of the XII and the beginning of the XIII century. a transversal body was added to form a Greek cross and a new entrance was opened towards the south-west, in this way the plan of the church was very similar to the Byzantine style. In the mid-XNUMX the porch was built with the monumental column-bearing lions that became the symbol of the city, in the same period the church was dedicated to San Ciriaco, martyr and bishop of Ancona. In the Renaissance period the choir and the two adjacent chapels were built as a continuation of the central nave and the side aisles of the longitudinal arm so as to take on today's appearance.

Many were the artists who worked there, Piero della Francesca frescoed a wall of the chapel of the Sacrament, unfortunately lost during the First World War, while in the first half of the seventeenth century. the great architect Luigi Vanvitelli worked on it who arranged the left arm of the transept and designed a large aedicule to house the image of the Madonna del Duomo.

Place of worship dedicated to San Ciriaco, it is also very important for the devotion to a small painting depicting the Madonna who in 1796, in the period of the imminent arrival of the Napoleonic army, was the protagonist of a prodigy. In fact, there were many faithful who witnessed the movement of the eyes and mouth of the Madonna who seemed to want to hearten and reassure the people of Ancona frightened by the French; the movements seem to have continued until the arrival of Napoleon himself who wanted to see the painting in person, even if it is not certain that the miracle also occurred in his presence, it is certain that Napoleon retraced his steps giving up bringing with him various works of sacred art.

In 1926 the Cathedral was awarded the title of Minor Basilica, while between 1999 and 2000 the cathedral's millennium was celebrated since it became a cathedral.

How to get to Ancona Cathedral

Take the A14 motorway, from the north follow the direction of Ancona and exit at Ancona Nord, and from the south follow the direction of Naples and then Pescara, exit at Ancona Sud, then follow the signs for Piazzale Duomo.