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Religious tour

The Convent and the Church of Beata Mattia, once dedicated to the Magdalene, are certainly among the oldest religious buildings of the town. The Convent was built in 1225.

The enclosed nuns still observe the rule of St Clare. Situated in the south area of the historic centre, in ancient times it also had a defensive purpose. In fact, the high bell tower, which dates from the 2nd half of the 15th century, was certainly used as a turret.

The many restorations have modified the original structure belonging to the 13th century. Although the church was rebuilt in 1750, the last restorations took place on the initiative of Enrico Mattei during the 20th century.

In the middle of the convent you can find three courtyards, the third one has an interesting rustic Portico marked by square pillars supporting a saddle roof. In the centre of the wide courtyard, which is uncultivated nowadays, you can admire a votive hillock that can be reached climbing a staircase presenting two small pillars and decorated with rococo patterns.

Amongst the precious works of art that you can see inside the Convent, a painted crucifix stands out for its artistic value. It is one of the rare 13th century crucifixes carried out by local artists.

The lengthened body of Christ, also marked by a light torsion of the pelvis, lead us to date the work from the 2nd half of the 13th century. The Virgin and St John , who are respectively on the right and on the left of Christ, reveal a restrained pain. Other important painting is the "Madonna with the Holy Child" by a painter known as "the master of the cradle".

The Monastery and the Church of St Francesco : rose in the 2nd half of the13th century. It played a so important role in the community of Matelica, that in 1663 the Town Council decided to intercede with the Pope who had excommunicated the Franciscan Friars.

The Romanesque portal, a small portion of frescoes and a relic, which belongs to the oldest Franciscan cycle of Marche (13th century), are works going back to the original structure.

The Monastery's interior consists of two cloisters. The Church, which was wholly restored between 1653 and 1719 and enriched with Baroque patterns, is divided in three aisles.

The central nave presents two chapels where you find so many remarkable paintings, that Luigi Lanzi in 1796 described them as small art galleries. The paintings that you can admire are: "Il Purgatorio" (1586 - first chapel) and "Ascensione" (1574 - fourth chapel) by Ercole Ramazzani; "Madonna con Santi" (1512 - on the left side of the fifth chapels) by Eusebio from San Giorgio; "Vergine con Bambino e Santi" (2nd half of the 15th century - fourth chapel) by Francesco di Gentile; "Madonna con Bambino in trono" (1501 - second chapel) by Marco Palmezzano; "Adorazione dei Magi" (1566 - fourth chapel) by Simone and Francesco from Caldarola; "Cappella della Passione" (cloister). Giovanni Petronio from Pesaro , who was a papal commissioner, ordered the walls of the Chapel to be painted.

The pictorial cycle consists of 15 panels narrating the Passion of Christ. "San Fracesco e il povero" (14th century - chorus).

The Church of St Agostino is one of the oldest churches of Matelica. It was built along the edges of a slope during the 13th century.

The valuable Gothic portal, which is the only piece belonging to the original structure, stands underneath a 16th small balcony.

The church's interior consists of three aisles supporting a fine dome; the lateral naves are market by eight altars, which add to the two high altars in the apse.

Inside the church you find many paintings of great value such as: "Noli me Tangere", "San Nicola di Tolentino intercede per le anime del Purgatorio" and Madonna con il Bambino e Santi" by Ercole Ramazzani; "Estasi di San Francesco", a canvas decorating the high altar on the left and attributed to Guercino.