Fermo, a prestigious historic city that rises a stone’s throw from the sea, with a classic taste where everyone is the protagonist.

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Fermo Cathedral

The Fermo Cathedral, the Cathedral of the town, rises on Girfalco Hill and it shows a Romanesque-Gothic facade and mainly neoclassical interiors.

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Rebuilt in the same place where the previous church stood, destroyed in 1176, the cathedral was finished in 1227 when the architect Giorgio da Como certified its completion, as indicated by a plaque placed at the south entrance. The cathedral today still has its original Istrian stone facade while the body of the church was completely rebuilt in 1781 based on a project by the architect Cosimo Morelli. Inside, the foundations of the ancient paleochristian basilica and the eighteenth-century crypt can be visited.

History and structure of Fermo Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral stands on the ruins of the ancient Fermo Cathedral, a Paleochristian basilica with three naves from the VI century, founded in turn on a pagan temple, whose traces are visible in the hypogeum. The ancient Cathedral was destroyed and ransacked in 1176 by the imperial troops of Frederick I Hohenstaufen, known as Barbarossa (Red Beard).

His niece Frederick II was the one who wanted its reconstruction in 1227. We can admire still today its original Romanesque-Gothic façade: asymmetrical because of the tower bell on the left side of the building, it shows recurring Christian motifs carved on Istrian stone, such as shoots and bunches coming out of a lion’s jaws and a dragon (that according to the biblical exegesis symbolize the man’s salvation, continuously impeded by the Devil).

The rest of Fermo Cathedral instead has been restored and reworked many times over the centuries. The majestic bronze doors, for example, were made by the sculptor Aldo Sergiacomi and they were realized at the end of the XX century. The main door is adorned with a ferrule decorated with carved plant elements, separated from the rose window by a group of bronze pieces, contained in a pinnacle and dating back to 1758. The subject is Our Lady of the Assumption, to whom the Cathedral is dedicated.

Fermo Cathedral’s interiors

The interior, in contrast to the facade, is strongly characterized by the neoclassical style. It is divided into three naves, delimited by a series of pillars sustaining the structure above, made by vaulted arches with painted domes.

The interior of Fermo Cathedral preserves very valuable pieces. The right nave shows at one far end a chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception; on the left nave is located a funeral monument to Orazio Brancadoro realized in 1560, while in the atrium it is located the monument to Giovanni Visconti d’Oleggio. In the winter choir we can find a Byzantine icon donated by San Giacomo della Marca.

Of the utmost importance are the paleochristian mosaics located in the Cathedral’s presbytery, visible from the main altar. The mosaics represent two peacocks drinking the “waters of life” from a chalice symbolizing the soul’s immortality.

The basements and the crypt

It’s opportune to say that, when it comes to the Cathedral, we can’t stop at the surface. The Fermo Cathedral preserves precious relics of its embedded history even in the basement. Here we can admire noteworthy remains of the previous churches and numerous archaeological finds, including ruins of spaces dating back to Antonino Pio age, a realistic bust of the Roman Emperor, two Christian sarcophagi and other tombs from the Middle Age, in addition to a surprising variety of decorative sculptures, trabeations, capitals, gravestones, statues and Roman sculptures.

The crypt itself, dating back to the XIII century and reworked many times throughout history, has a valuable artistic value. With three naves, it is very snug thanks to the little breaches that allow a suffused light to come in; it is very rich in coloured marbles, statues, relics, sculptures and decorations, including a Paleochristian sarcophagus from the III-IV century. Its vaulted arches were frescoed by Alessandro Ricci.




Archdiocese of Fermo

opening hours (summer)
from Tuesday to Saturday
Sunday 10.00-13.00/16.00-19.30
Monday open by reservation only

opening hours (winter)
from Tuesday afternoon to Saturday
Sunday 10.00-13.00/15.00-18.00
Monday and Tuesday morning open by reservation only

0734.229005 int. 24



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