The San Pancrazio Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Pancrazio Martire) is the most important church in Albano Laziale. It is built on the ruins of a basilica built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century.
San Pancrazio Cathedral Albano Laziale
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
The address of San Pancrazio Cathedral is Piazza L. Sabatini – 00041 Albano Laziale (tel. +39 069324113). Opening hours: From 8:00 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 19:00. It is also possible to visit the crypt, but this has to be booked by phone. Admission: Free of charge.
History and description
The San Pancrazio Cathedral is one of the oldest religious buildings in the region, since Christianity was established in the Castelli Romani at a very early stage. Originally it was not dedicated to San Pancrazio Martire, but to John the Baptist.
The present basilica was built on the ruins of the ancient early Christian basilica built by Emperor Constantine and then reconstructed by Pope Leo III (795-815) after a disastrous fire.
Later the sacristy was added and a e cemetery was built next to the church.
Restructuring started at the beginning of the 18th century by Bishop Ferdinando d’Adda, continued with Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci. The latter commissioned the construction of the facade to the architect Carlo Buratti.
In 1913 a new renovation began. It took more than 50 years to complete the work.
The interior is characterized by a basilical floor plan, with three naves and a barrel vault. Its architecture has elements of both baroque and neo-classicism. There are six side chapels.
The most striking aspect of the facade is the two torches on the sides. These probably symbolize the Holy Spirit.
In the centre of the facade there is a blind window, reminiscent of the so-called Logge delle Benedizioni of the papal basilicas in Rome.
The crypt under the presbytery contains some capitals that were part of the early Christian version of the church.
The marble sarcophagus also dates from the early Christian period. The image of the praying figure in the middle is called adorant. Traditionally, an adorant is depicted with the hands raised.
In the middle of the apse is the 19th century painted “Glory of San Pancrazio” by Pietro Gagliardi. To the right the “Apparition to Constantine of the Holy Cross” can be seen and to the left the “Discovery of the Holy Cross by St. Helen”.
Near the Basilica, on Via Alcide de Gasperi, there is the Episcopal Palace, which was built in 1725 by Cardinal Nicola Lercari, Secretary of State of Pope Benedict XIII.