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Portale di san DomenicoPortal of the church of San Domenico
Thursday 23 November 2017

Portal of the church of San Domenico

Portale di san Domenico
Foto di Franco Galluzzi

The Romanesque façade with its fine gothic Malatesti portal are all that remain of the 13th. century church of san Domenico, transformed into the main Post Office building at the beginning of the 20th. century.

The church was built by the Dominican Fathers in about 1290 and had a notable belfry, onto which the city bell was raised in 1572; the bell can now be seen in the entrance to the Palazzo Comunale. Next to the church was the convent which behind extended to via Giordano Bruno.  The church and convent were under the protection of the lords of the city: the Malatesti, Sforza and lastly Della Rovere families.

However, by the eighteenth century the Dominicans had lost much of their power, and with the arrival of the Cisalpine Republic were obliged to abandon both church and convent; between 1789 and 1803 they passed the area on the piazza to the Municipality, which remained as it was until the mid-nineteenth century. After the Marche had been annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and the Dominican community dissolved, in 1862 the Municipality bought the church and convent, which it put to various incongruous uses.  

In 1911, following the plan of the architect Edoardo Collamarini, work began on adapting the church for use as the Post Office; the building was inaugurated in 1914.
 
All that remains of the ancient history of the church is the gabled brick Romanesque-Gothic style façade with its fine marble portal, commissioned in 1395 by Malatesta Malatesti (nicknamed dei Sonetti, ‘of the Sonnets’), in memory of his father Pandolfo II. At the entrance are two lions in couchant guard, a recurrent theme in Malatesti iconography.

 

Text based on: Giovanna Patrignani, Pesaro. La Radio  storia della Città,  Pesaro, Metauro Edizioni, 2008, pp. 26-27

 

 

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