Museum-Ancient Treasure of the Holy House

The Museum-Ancient Treasure of the Holy House is located on the upper floors of the western part of the majestic Apostolic Palace, which is to the left and in front of the Basilica. The Apostolic Palace has an impressive colonnade and a loggia which is Doric on the ground floor and Ionic on the upper floor. The museum houses an ample and heterogeneous art and faith heritage which comes from the Basilica or which was donated to the Holy House over the centuries.

Among the different works housed in the Museum, there are nine painted by Lotto (in the period 1480-1556) which largely decorated the ancient Chapel of the Choir. Some of them were painted by Lotto in the last years of his life, before he died in the Sanctuary of Loreto as an oblate of the Holy House.

Furthermore, there are paintings on tablet and on canvas, almost all of a religious nature, which adorned the altars of the Basilica; the majority of them were created in the second half of the sixteenth century. Then, there are two prestigious majolica collections, created in the workshops in Urbino in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and used in the Spice shop of the Holy House. Finally, there are the ten Flemish tapestries made between 1620-1624 on Raffaello’s cardboards (17th century), the wonderful coral altar furniture made in Trapani, contemporary art collections, images and objects of people’s devotion.

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Cristo e l’Adultera, 1548-’50

Description of the workCristo e l’Adultera, 1548-’50 - Loreto

Combattimento tra la Fortezza e la Fortuna infelice, ante 1550

Description of the workCombattimento tra la Fortezza e la Fortuna infelice, ante 1550 - Loreto

San Michele arcangelo caccia Lucifero,1545 ca

Description of the workSan Michele arcangelo caccia Lucifero,1545 ca - Loreto

Il sacrificio di Melchisedech, ante 1545

Description of the workIl sacrificio di Melchisedech, ante 1545 - Loreto

Il Battesimo di Cristo, 1544 ca

Description of the workIl Battesimo di Cristo, 1544 ca

Presentazione di Gesù al Tempio, 1555 ca

Description of the workPresentazione di Gesù  al Tempio, 1555 ca

Adorazione dei Magi, 1552/’55

Description of the workAdorazione dei Magi, 1552/’55

Adorazione del bambino, 1546/'49

Description of the workAdorazione del bambino, 1546/'49

San Cristoforo, San Rocco e San Sebastiano, 1532/1533

Description of the workSan Cristoforo, San Rocco e San Sebastiano, 1532/1533

The City of Loreto

Driving along the motorway which connects Bologna to the South of Italy, Loreto, with the unmistakable outline of its Sanctuary and the majesty of the Apostolic Palace, immediately stands out with the charm of the wonderful things which raise curiosity and desire of knowing more about this place. Loreto is a hill town located 127 metres above sea level with about 12,000 inhabitants; close to a pristine sea and in a region, one of the few corners of the world where every road, even the smallest, houses art treasures and historical memories.

The origins of this city are not ancient. In a list of churches presided over by the bishop of Recanati, written in 1249, Loreto isn’t mentioned because – and somebody says it is a unicum,- we are talking about a residential area which has developed thanks to the Holy Place. For this reason, Loreto’s history intersects over the centuries with the events of its Sanctuary. Therefore, we can fix an exact date, 1294 and if we want to follow legend, we can also fix the day: the night between the 9th and the 10th of December when, on that hill where there weren’t even any houses, only a street that linked Recanati to its port, something happened that became legend. In 1291, when the Muslims once and for all banished the Crusaders from Palestine, the Christians trying to save the memories linked to Christ’s, Mary’s and the Apostles’ lives and among these was the house of Nazareth where Mary lived, received the Angel’s announcement “Here I am, I am the servant of God” and where, still mentioning the Gospel, “the Word became flesh”.

Indeed, legend says that the House of Mary was carried by the Angels to the Ancient Illyria, to Trsat near Fiume (now known as Rijeka) and then to Loreto, first to the plain between the hill and the sea in the area known as Banderuola and afterwards to its current location.

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