The Cathedral of Ancona is dedicated to Saint Ciriaco and is located on the Colle Guasco. It is a medieval church built on the ruins of a pre-existing early Christian structure. Originally the entrance was on the east side, but it was moved to the other side in the early 13th century.
San Ciriaco Cathedral Ancona
Address: Piazzale del Duomo, 9 – 60121 Ancona. Phone: +39 071 52688. Opening times: Monday to Friday from 08:00 till 12:00 and from 13:00 till 19:00. Saturdays and Sundaus: Grom 08:00 till 19:00. Entrance: Free.
History and description
The Duomo of Ancona is dedicated to an Armenian bishop. This Ciriaco was made a martyr in the 4th century and subsequently became the patron saint of Ancona.
This medieval church has been rebuilt and restored very often over the centuries. The original construction began in the 10th century, but was not completed until the middle of the 13th century.
The early Christian church that stood on the site was dedicated to San Lorenzo. This church had in turn been built on top of a pagan temple.
Like this early Christian version, the new church built between 998 and 1015 consisted of three naves. The entrance was on the east side, but was moved to the opposite side in the early 13th century. The floor plan is that of a Greek cross and also dates from that period.
Subsequent restoration took place in the 19th century and again after Austro-Hungarian bombings in 1915. Damage was also done during World War II and the Duomo was even closed for five years after the 1972 earthquake.
The facade is preceded by a wide staircase. The Gothic-looking entrance dates from 1230 and was probably designed by Giorgio da Como. Margheritone d’Arezzo was (perhaps) responsible for the dome, which dates from the same period. The bell tower stands a bit away from the central part of the church and was built in 1314.
San Ciriaco Cathedral, what to see
The city’s patron Saint Ciriaco is buried in the church.
An aedicula designed by Vanvitelli, with the Madonna of San Ciriaco.
The “Virgin of All Saints” is a painting depicting the Madonna. When Napoleon invaded the Marche on June 25, 1796, the good woman is said to have been rolling her eyes.
In the crypt under the church, called Cripta delle Lagrime, there is a museum, founded in 1834, where religious art is exhibited. In the crypt opposite, there are the tombs of, not only Ciriaco, but also the saints San Liberio and San Marcellino. The three urns were decorated in the 18th century with sculptures by Gioacchino Varlè.