Macerata - Cathedral of Saint Julian


The modern cathedral of Saint Julian was designed by the architect Cosimo Morelli and it was built between 1459 and 1464. In the incomplete façade there are the remains of a belfry in late Gothic style, dating back to 1478 and attributed to Marino di Marco Cedrino.

The neoclassical interior is vast and imposing. Twin ionic columns divide the nave and the aisles and the dome- shaped cross vault, conveying a sense of grandeur.

The altar- piece at the main altar shows Saint Julian interceding to the Virgin Mary and Christ Child because of the threat of pestilence, a work by Cristoforo Unterbenger (1786). In the choir there are two interesting works by Filippo Bellini, a pupil of Barocci (The last supper and The Supper at Emmaus). Noteworthy is the tempera painted by Silvio Galimberti (1938) in the spandrels in the upper apse (theological virtues and Religion).

In the side chapels there are valuable works of art. At the first altar to the right “Delivery of the Bolognese school keys”; at the second chapel to the right “Madonna between Saints Sebastian and Andrea” painted in 1600 by Andrea Boscoli, one of the best Florentine Mannerists.

At the right transept there’s a mosaic with St. Michael the Archangel made in 1628 by Giambattista Calandra for the Vatican basilica.

Above the third altar to the right Saint carl Borromeo, a canvas by Vincenzo Martini from Macerata (1790). At the bottom of the left transept there’s the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament,a skilful 18th century reproduction of the dome frescoed by Pavisa (1932). In the first chapel to the left there a baptismal font, a part of a great 17th century wooden construction which reproduces a project by Michelangelo for the Vatican basilica.

Remarkable religious works of art can be found also in the sacristy, among which the 1369 triptych Madonna with Child and Saints Anthony and Julian by Allegretto Nuzi, a painting by Vincenzo Pagani, a Piety by Filippo Bellini, the Miracle of Saint Gregorius, a sketch by Andrea Sacchi for the altar piece in the Gregorian Chapel of Saint Peter in the Vatican.

The very good organ placed to the right of the choir is one of the biggest organs ever made by Gaetano Callido in 1790.

A wide staircase leads to the lower church where three altars can be found: the major one is dedicated to the Holy Sacrament, the other two ones to the Madonna of Loreto and to Mary the Magdalene.

Besides, the cathedral of Macerata houses in a precious silver urn an arm of Saint Julian, protector of the town.


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Itineraries to visit Macerata