The Cathedral of St. Cyriacus represents the emblem of Ancona, both for its geographical position as well as for its historical and religious meaning.
The hilltop on which it rests was once called the Cumero promontory in antiquity, a name formed by the Greek words Kuma and Oro , which together mean " mountain facing the sea ". It was subsequently called Colle di San Ciriaco or Colle Guasco, as colonel Cesare Guasco ordered important fortifications to be built towards the sea.
The Church was built on the remains of an ancient temple dedicated to Venus Euplea, the goddess of good navigation. White Conero stone and Veronese red marble were used for its construction.
This temple was destroyed in 558 by an earthquake that also razed to the ground the small town of Numana. The cross-shaped outline of the building, featuring a central plan, is dominated by a soaring twelve-sided cupola with its Gothic vaults. Covered with sheets of metal, it is considered by experts to be one of the oldest and most perfect cupolas in Italy. The interior of the church, along with the portal – a 13th century Gothic masterpiece - and the nearby Diocesan Museum are all worth a visit.
Under the glass slabs you can still see the remains of the pagan temple and of the early- Christian basilica with fragments of mosaics. In the left aisle you can find the monument to the Blessed Ghinelli, a work by Giovanni Dalmata da Traù (1509). In the right aisle in the chapel of the Madonna there’s a splendid altar of the Madonna by Luigi Vanvitelli (1738). In the right wing, in the chapel of the Holy Cross, magnificent Medieval tiles with symbolic meanings.
Under the Madonna chapel is a crypt with the remains of the patron saints of the Diocese: St. Ciriacus, Saints Liberius and Marcellinus.