Inaugurated in 2004, the Diocesan Museum is located in the former seat of the Confraternity of Suffrage, adjacent to the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica, which is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.
The latter is still the most important Catholic place of worship in Fermo and was built between 1781 and 1789 on top of Girfalco Hill, on architectural remains dating back to Roman times and the early Middle Ages. In fact, as was often the case at the time, at the behest of Archbishop Andrea Antonio Silverio Minucci it was decided to demolish a large part of the previous building and rebuild it from scratch. The entire rear part of the 13th-century church was therefore removed, saving only the façade, entrance and bell tower.
The architect of the Papal State, Cosimo Morelli, was commissioned to design the new structure, while construction was entrusted to the Fermo-born architect Pagliuca. These two figures are the same men that, immediately afterwards, were entrusted with construction of Aquila Theatre. Thanks to Morelli’s grandiose project, Fermo Cathedral is one of the most imposing in Italy.
A treasure trove and benchmark for diocesan art, history and culture, in addition to housing an important selection of the Treasures of the Cathedral, in its precious layout the museum brings together the artistic expressions of the vast community of the Fermo territory. In fact, many works on display come from the Episcopate and the Archdiocese of Fermo.
On display are items covering a period spanning from the early Christian era to the beginning of the 20th century. Over these centuries, it is possible to retrace the important building phases of the Church, recounting the presence of distinguished bishops, relations with the papacy, liturgy and devotion.
The first large room at the entrance houses the most conspicuous and valuable part of the Cathedral’s ancient treasure: the famous De Firmonibus Missal, the reliquary of Pope Pius III, the tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl crosier of Pope Sixtus V and the monumental 16th-century bronze ciborium by the Lombardi-Solari brothers.