History of St. Giovanni Battista's Church

  • Its name still contains remnants of the original antique name “Sancti Johannis de Aesio” which actually belonged to a Monastic non urban church and hospital for pilgrims of the XIIIth century, which was built adjacent to or on the current ruins. Frederic II donated the building to the Monastery Holy Cross of the Fonte (source) Avellana.

    When the Congregation of St. Philip took over the Church on the 15 August 1659 they found it uncompleted, as it had been left by its previous occupants, the Apostolic Fathers of the third Agostinian Order, who had been driven away by the dissolutions of Innocentii in 1652.

    The very high and unadorned façade on the modern-day Corso Matteotti was built in 1678, the date of its completion is inscribed in the memorial stone together with the patron’s name, but the architect also included with the portal’s stones a bass relief depicting the Bapstism of Christ which was part of the original pre-1596 facade.

    The current interior configuration of a single nave with three Chapels on each side and a perpendicular apse was built when the Church was restructured by the Congregation of St. Philip from about 1660-1678 circa; they completed the series on the right hand side including a part of the adjacent road site of Via Saffi.

    The Church was officially consecrated on 13th June 1694 by the Bishop Cardinal Piermatteo Petrucci, formally Fhater Superior of the Oratorians in Jesi.

    The Chapels with barrel vaults are separated by pairs of plaster strips, with classical Corinthian capitals by T.Amantini (1625-1676) of Durano on the left, and heavy continuos archives, by which the barrel vault together with the lunettes of the nave is separated. This artist also decorated the chapel of St. Philip, so called by Cardinal Alderano Cybo, then Bishop of Jesi.

    The rich luminous stucco decoration of the ceiling was drawn by F. Mannelli and the commission given to Simone Andreani of Monsanvito; while of the seven oval painted mirrors two were made by A. Aquilini of the order St. Philip and five by A. Massi.

    The decoration of the Church was finally completed by the Architect Flaminio Mannelli of Arcevia through his own personal architectural intervention in the façade.

    The Altar’s balustrade was commissioned in 1671, again by Cybo, and sculptured by Carlo Giosafatti.

    The order of St. Philip which had done so much to enrich the Church artistically, remained in the Chruch and Convent until they were finally turned out in 1798.

    The Church has the famous fourteenth century fresco of the Sangue Giusto (detached by S. Nicolò), the altar painting of the High Altar by Giovanni Peruzzini (1688) and a canvas of Giangiacomo Duti a discipline of Federico Barocci Discipline, on the altar of the Maddalena (1602). The Church has also in its possession the chairs of St.Philip inside a beautiful case made by Alessandro Giardini of Urbino (1646)

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