Loreto, a small town of Ancona Province, is known all over the world for its Sanctuary that makes it one of the most important places of pilgrimage and pray for the Catholics, together with Medjugorje and Lourdes. The believers go to Loreto to give prays of devotion to the ruins of the Holy House where Jesus lived in Nazareth. On the basis of a former ancient tradition and latter historical and archeological researches, it is confirmed indeed that the Loreto Sanctuary keeps the Nazarene House of Mary; according to tradition, when in 1921 the crusaders were driven from Palestine out, the walls of the house of Mary were brought first to Illyria (to Tersatto, the present Croatia) and then to Loreto (10 December 1294).
Inside the Sanctuary you will admire: The Dome – The Crucifix Chapel – the French Chapel or Sacrament’s – the Slavic Chapel or Cirillo and Metodio Saints – the Our Lady of the Assumption Chapel or American’s – the Choir Chapel or German’s – the Sacred Heart Chapel or Polish’s – the St John Sacristy or Signorelli’s – the Urbino Dukes Chapel – the St Joseph Chapel or Spanish’s – the Swiss Chapel or Gioacchino and Ann Saints – St Mark Sacristy or Melozzo’s – the side Chapels –the Treasure Room or Pomarancio’s.
The square outside the Sanctuary ends in the northern and western sides with the Apostles Palace, in the eastern side with the front of the Basilica, and in the southern side with the Illyrian Palace; on you r left hand you will admire the Bell Tower drawn by Luigi Vanvitelli; instead, in the middle there is the Fountain by Carlo Maderno and Giovanni Fontana.
We have to mention the impressive Basilica of Loreto Dome built in the octagonal drum, up to the eaves by Giuliano da Maiano; it was vaulted by Giuliano da Sangallo in only eight months, from September 1499 to May 1500.
“The Loreto Holy House is the first Sanctuary of International importance dedicated to the Virgin and the true Marian heart of Christianity”. (Pope John Paul II)