Pilgrimage city Loreto

Loreto is a typical case of a Shrine that creates a town

Your local contact

Comune di Loreto

Corso Boccalini, 32

60025 Loreto

Italia

segreteria.loreto (at) regione.marche.it

www.comune.loreto.an.it

An ancient tradition tells that the walls of the Shrine existed in Nazareth, Galilea: the Holy House is the same House where Our Lady Mary was born, grew up and received the angelic announcement.

This tradition, based on devotion and popular belief, ascribed the transportation of the House of Nazareth to an angelic mission; current historical studies have developed the hypothesis of a transportation carried out by man, through sea and land, that came true with special assistance from above. The original nucleus of the Holy House consists of three walls only: in Nazareth, the original fourth wall was simply the side opened towards the entrance of the grotto. On this edge now stands the interior altar of the Holy House.

The Holy Chamber can be clearly defined in two different parts. The lower section (from the ground up to almost 3 meters in height) is the original wall, made with sandstone blocks, built in regular rows, as we could find in Nazareth; the upper section is added afterwards with Marche local brick, the only building material used in the area with that method of construction.

The Basilica built around the Santa Casa was started in 1469 in late Gothic style, probably based on a design of Marino di Marco Cedrino, the Basilica was completed in 1587 with its facade in late renaissance style.

The Square, bordered at the east side by the facade of the Basilica with its Bell-tower, at the north and west by the Apostolic Palace and at the south by the Illiric Palace, is also embellished by a central fountain.

In the middle of Piazza della Madonna stands an artistic fountain, designed by the celebrated Carlo Maderno and his uncle Giovanni Fontana and built between 1604 and 1614. The Fountain is adorned with some bronze sculptures, carved by Tarquinio and Pietro Paolo Jacometti in 1622.

A little further we can find the Municipal Palace, with its brick walls; its 17th century bell-tower is the work of Giovanni Branca, while the battlement was added in 1887. In the small square there is the monument to Garibaldi, with a Marble bust by Ettore Ferrari (1886).

The Treasury Hall or Hall of Pomarancio was built at the beginning of the 17th century to harbour liturgical ornaments, vestments and the votive gifts left by the churchgoers. Excellent Frescoes are by Cristoforo Roncalli, called Pomarancio (1605-1610), with ten stories from the life of the Madonna, six prophets and six Sibyls. These frescoes are considered masterpieces of the late roman "manierismo".

Some facts about Loreto

What’s special about the pilgimage of Loreto?

Shrine of Loreto

An ancient tradition tells that the house in Nazareth, Galilea, where Mother Mary was born, grew up and received the angelic announcement was brought to Loreto. Around 1400 a first church was erected to cover the house of mother Mary. The so called "Santa Casa" nowadays houses a statue of a Madonna with child.

Pilgrimage history

According to legend and based on devotion and popular belief, the house of Mary was brought to Loreto by angels. Current historical studies suggest that it is more likely that a family with the surname "Angeli" transported the holy house over sea and land with some special assistance from above.

Top 6 sights in Loreto

What to visit

The Holy House

An ancient tradition tells that the walls of the Shrine existed in Nazareth, Galilea: the Holy House is the same House where Our Lady Mary was born, grew up and received the angelic announcement. This tradition, based on devotion and popular belief, ascribed the transportation of the House of Nazareth to an angelic mission.

Piazza Leopardi

On a side of the Square there’s a long Portico Gallery built in the second half of the 17th century, when Vanvitelli's bell-tower was under construction. It seems that in old times it served as a shelter for the pilgrims who, arriving at the Shrine at night, found the city gates already closed.

Treasury Hall

Built at the beginning of the 17th century to harbour liturgical ornaments, vestments and votive gifts. Excellent Frescoes are by Cristoforo Roncalli, called Pomarancio (1605-1610), with ten stories from the life of the Madonna, six prophets and six Sibyls. These frescoes are considered masterpieces of the late roman "manierismo".

Municipal Palace

A little further we can find the Municipal Palace, with its brick walls. Its 17th century bell-tower is the work of Giovanni Branca, while the battlement was added in 1887. In the small square there is the monument to Garibaldi, with a marble bust by Ettore Ferrari (1886).

Town Hall

On the far side of Sixtus V road is the Bastion of the Town Hall, built in 1518-1519 by Cristoforo Resse. It was commissioned by Pope Leo X who was concerned about the incursions of the Turks from the nearby Adriatic Sea.

Museum

The Museum-Art Gallery is located on the upper floors of the west wing of the Apostolic Palace. Outstanding among the various objects are some estimable canvases by Lorenzo Lotto, a fine collection of Renaissance ceramics and 10 Raphaelesque tapestries. The collection of ancient apothecary pottery is considered one of the finest of the genre.

Popes visiting Loreto

15th century: Pope Nikolaus V

1962: Pope John XXIII

1979, 1985, 1995: Pope John Paul II

2007: Pope Benedikt XVI

Travelling to Loreto

The most important connections

Getting here by plane

Airport of Falconara Marittima

From the airport you can take a taxi or rent a car and reach Loreto in thirty minutes. Also the station of Ancona is easy to reach from the airport by taxi or shuttle bus.

www.marcheairport.com

Getting here by car

Highway "A14 Bologna-Taranto", exit to "Loreto-Porto Recanati", from there you will reach the town in a short distance of 3 kilometres. The Basilica stands on the top of a hill and can be seen from the highway.

Getting here by train

Railway "Ancona-Pescara"

Station of Loreto or Ancona (then you can reach Loreto by local bus). The station of Loreto is only 2 km away from the town's centre.