Church of San Giovanni Battista

Restoration of interior finishes and entrance portal, Gradara, Italy.

The Church of San Giovanni Battista located within the walls delimiting the historic center of Gradara and more precisely adjacent to the medieval castle, was built on the ruins of the Vicus Romano around the 11th century. From the documents received it appears that the church of San Giovanni Battista is older than the Castle of Gradara. In fact, it is included in the list of “tithes” of 1290; the “tithe” was the tax that in the Middle Ages was paid to the Church in the amount of 10% on crops. In a parchment of 1297, reported by Olivieri in the “Memoirs of Gradara”, a special indulgence is given granted by the Bishop Pietro of Pesaro to “raparationem” of the Church of San Giovanni. This means that in that year the Church needed an urgent and radical restoration intervention; this intervention could not be carried out with the normal annual resources (tithes) that flowed there and therefore the population was called upon to collect the sum necessary for its restoration. In 1311 Giovanni Malatesta, and later his son Pandolfo I and his nephew Pandolfo II, as evidenced by the records of the wills, made bequests to the Church.

Around 1400 the Sforza family restored the church again; documentation of this remained in an inscription placed in the wooden truss and reported by Olivieri in the “Memoirs of Gradara”. In 1770 the Church was in a very bad state, so much so that the Marquis Carlo Mosca Barzi of Pesaro appointed lord of the Castle by Pope Clement XIV Ganganelli rebuilt it from its foundations. It was at that time that the bell tower, located in the left tower of the entrance to the first city wall, was brought over the church. Both the Marquis Carlo and the Marquis Giovanni Mosca, his brother, were buried in the Church itself until in 1955 with the remaking of the floor the large tombstone was brought to the rectory where it is still located today. In 1866, with the construction of the municipal cemetery, the burials ceased within the nave. In 1930 the earthquake damaged part of the cult building. The apse was rebuilt around 1940. Following an attack from the sea during World War II and precisely in September 1944, Allied ships damaged the building. Inside the church and precisely in the right altar there is a sacred image of Christ crucified in wood dating back to the fifteenth century.


Architect, Construction manager: Andrea Galanti

Structural Engineer: Fabio Gessi

Collaborator: Andrea Andreani

Realization: Edil Gradara s.n.c; Lorenzetti s.n.c.