Located in Piazza del Plebiscito, at the top of the steps, the Church of San Domenico dominates the piazza.
According to historians, the Dominican Order was present in Ancona since its foundation in 1216. Giangiacomi, author of a “History of Ancona”, mentions a church dedicated to Saint Dominic, the saint patron of the order, located “extra Portam Sancti Petri”, outside the Gate of Saint Peter, also known as the Arch of Carola.
The Church of San Domenico was commissioned by the Dominicans in the 18th century and built by Roman architect Carlo Marchionni, who was also in charge of renovating the square. In March 1759 the old church was demolished, along with the Church of Sant’Egidio e dell’Incoronata. The first stone was laid in 1771 and work continued until 1783.
The facade was yet incomplete when the French invaded Le Marche in 1798 and the Anconine Republic was founded under their rule. The church was used as barracks, then restored and reopened for worship in 1816.
The top half of the facade is made of bricks, while the lower half is decorated with two columns and four Ionic pilasters. The main entrance is flanked by two Corinthian columns. The Church features a single nave covered by a barrel vault. There are three chapels on each side, framed by lesenes. The niches are adorned with stucco sculptures and medallions by Gioacchino Varlè, which represent venerated members of the Dominican Order.
The highlights of this church are the copy of the masterpieces it holds by two of the major artists of their time: the “Annunciation” by Guercino, painted in 1662 and a “Crucifixion” by Titian, painted in 1558 (the original work is preserved in Pinacoteca).
Severely damaged by bombings in 1943 and by an earthquake in 1972, the Church was restored in the 1980s and 1990s.
Opening hours: 7-12 | 17.15-19
Reasons to visit:
- Masterpieces by Guercino and Titian
- One of the city’s main landmarks
- Beautiful location
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