The most striking feature of the facade of the 14th century San Francesco alle Scale Church in Ancona is its huge, richly decorated portal. Over the centuries, this church has served as a barracks, hospital and museum, among other things. Nowadays, it is again used for its original purpose.
San Francesco alle Scale Church
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
The Chiesa di San Francesco alle Scale is located in the Piazza San Francesco.
History and description
Originally built in 1323, this church was dedicated to Santa Maria Maggiore. The associated monastery and oratory had been built earlier, in 1295.
The steps to which the church owes its current name date from 1447.
Like several churches in Ancona, San Francesco alle Scale was used for military purposes during the Napoleonic era. In 1852 it was closed, to be converted into a hospital. After a reconstruction towards the end of the 19th century, it became the seat of the Pinacoteca Civica. In1953 it started serving as a church again.
The most striking feature of the facade is the Gothic-Venetian-looking portal that looks like a tabernacle. It dates from the 15th century and was designed by Giorgio da Sebenico. The heads sculpted around the entrance are partly by Sebenico and partly by Giorgio Orsini. The sculptures to the left and right of the entrance depict San Bernardino da Siena and Santa Chiara. Above them Sant’Antonio da Padova and San Lodovico da Tolosa are depicted.
The interior consists of a single nave.
What to see
Lorenzo Lotto painted the “Asssunta” in the apse.
Pellegrino Tibaldi was responsible for the “Baptism of Christ.”
Andrea Lilli painted the “Madonna of Loreto.”