100 Route 13.
and deposited near Recanati, on the ground of a certain widow Laurela
(whence the name Loreto). A church was erected over it, and a number
of houses soon sprang up for the accommodation of the devout believers
who flocked to the spot. In 1586 Pope Sixtus V. accorded to Loreto the
privileges of a town.
Among the numerous pilgrims who have visited this spot may be
mentioned Tasso, who thus alludes to it: —
'Ecco fra le lempesle, e i fieri venti
Di questo grande e spazioso mare,
0 santa Stella, il tuo splendor ntha scorto,
CW illustra e scalda pur Vumane mentp.
The *Chibsa iiella Casa Santa has no great architectural pre¬
tensions. The handsome facade was erected under Sixtus V., a
colossal statue of whom adorns the entrance flight of steps. Over
the principal door is a life-size statue of the Madonna and Child,
by Girolamo Lombardo , his sons , and his pupils ; there are also
three superb bronze-doors, executed under Pope Paul V., 1605-21.
The campanile , designed by Vanvitelli, is a very lofty structure in
a richly decorated style, surmounted by an octagonal pyramid. The
principal bell, presented by Pope Leo X. in 1516, weighs 11 tons.
In the Interior, to the left of the entrance, is a beautiful *font, cast
in bronze by Tiburzio Verzelli and Giambattisla Vitale, and adorned with
basreliefs and figures of Faith, Hope, Charity, and Fortitude. On the al¬
tars and in the chapels of the nave are '-mosaics representing St. Francis
of Assisi, by Domenichino, and the Archangel Michael, by Guido Reni; also
a number of valuable pictures, frescoes, and sculptures.
In the centre of the church rises the 'Casa Santa' (or 'Holy House'),
a simple brick-building, 13'/2 ft. in height, 28 ft. in length, and 12'/2 ft.
in width, surrounded by a lofty "Marble Screen designed by Bramante,
and executed by Andrea Sansoviuo, Girolamo Lombardo, Giovanni da Bo¬
logna, Bandinelli, Tribolo, Guglielmo delta Porta, etc., with bronze doors by
Girolamo Lombardo. This handsome work was begun under Leo X., con¬
tinued under Clement VII., and completed under Paul III., and is said to
have cost 50,000 Roman scudi, irrespective of the statues and the marble.
The cost would have been still greater, had not many of the artists piously
declined remuneration. The four sides are adorned with statues of pro¬
phets and sibyls, and reliefs, amongst which may be mentioned : —
W. Side. Annunciation , by Sansoviuo, termed by Vasari, 'una opera
divina'; smaller representations by Sangallo, Gir. Lombardo, and Gugl.
S. Side. Nativity, by Sansoviuo; David and Goliath, Sibyls, Ado¬
ration of the Magi, by other masters.
E. Side. Arrival of the Santa Casa at Loreto, by Niccolb Tribolo;
above it Death of the Virgin, by Domenico Aimo of Bologna.
N. Side. Nativity of the Virgin, begun by Sansoviuo, continued by
Baccio Bandinelli and Raffaele da Montelupo. Basreliefs: Nuptials of the
Virgin, by the same masters.
In a niche of the interior is a small image of the Virgin and Child
in cedar, painted black, attributed to St. Luke. It is richly adorned with
jewels, the lustre of which is enhanced by silver lamps always kept
burning. In 1798 it was carried off to Paris by the French.
In the N. Transept is the entrance to the "Treasuru (open to the
public on Snnd. till 11.30 a.m.; at other times fee 1 fr.), which contains
a number of valuable votive offerings and other curiosities, the gifts of
monarchs and persons of rank. Several of the treasures disappeared at,
the time of the Peace of Tolentino (1797).
In the Piazza in front of the church are situated (he Jesuits'
College and the —
*1'alazzo Apostolico, begun in 1510 from designs by Bra-