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Monumenti&Musei: The city centre

Church of Our Lady of Loreto

The church dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto was erected in 1640 by the townsfolk, willing to thank the Virgin for having spared them during the terrible landslide that swamped the second access door to the city and most of the houses in the town centre.

Church of Our Lady of Loreto

The building, located right at the beginning of via Montefeltro, the road leading to the only access door to the town standing today, is the first of the many buildings built in the XIV century, changing forever the town’s medieval outlook.
Originally, the church consisted of a rectangular hall with a wooden truss ceiling; right above the vault, raised during restoration works in the XIX century, an oval medallion can still be seen in the main altar’s wall, with a Latin writing saying: «FAC UT ARDEAT», which means in English “make me feel as thou hast felt”. The church features today a nave and an apse, separated by a triumphal arch. The ceiling has a lowered vault and the walls are decorated with stucco arches.
The main altar is a true masterpiece, with its wooden retablo, carved, painted, and gilded in 1732 at the centre of which is a niche hosting an image of Virgin with Child. It’s a mannequin statue, going back to the XVIII century and the silken dress it wore until a short time ago was once the wedding gown of a countess belonging to the Nardini family. Due to the statue unique character, it was used, and still is, in religious processions: every year, during the celebrations taking place on the 9th of December, it is put on a wooden model of the Holy Cabin.
Besides furniture coming from other churches in town, the building also hosts a canvas from the end of the XVI century which was oiginally the altarpiece of the Church of the Annunziata. Portraying the Annunciation, it is clearly inspired by the Tiziano’s famous painting carrying the same name, and was probably disseminated through Giacomo Caraglio’s etching.