On All Souls Day I would like to devote a post to Sant’Ubaldo church in Pesaro.
Little known even by Pesaresi (I myself entered the church one year ago for the first time!) it was hardly ever open in the past. As a matter of fact it was open to the public again in 2012 (it is open now on each third Sunday of the month, when Stradomenica takes place, from 10 am to 1 pm). Volunteers from the Coordination of the Combatant Associations (Coordinamento delle Associazioni Combattentistiche e d’Arma) welcome visitors, as the church is today a votive chapel devoted to soldiers who died during WWI and during Independence and Colonial wars.
The church, built in the 17th century, underwent many changes through the years; however, it is still an interesting example of 17th century achitecture in Pesaro. When I go to work by bus (I work in my favourite downtown area: the old Jewish Ghetto), I usually stop at Piazza Matteotti. Then I walk along via San Francesco (where you find the sanctuary of Madonna of Graces I recently wrote about) and – when I arrive in People Square (piazza del Popolo) – I turn right and walk by Sant’Ubaldo church. Actually, if you don’t know where it is, you may as well not find it. It happens to be framed between the rear of the Town Hall, right beside the artists’ entrance to the Sperimentale theatre, and just before the URP (the Office for Public Relations with the Public of Pesaro Municipality). Inbetween there is a tiny little street which I like to walk along, ending in Rossini street (yes, the street is named after the composer because he was born there in 1792). Actually, I usually walk by Rossini’s house before turning left on my way to the old Ghetto.
The love for my town is leading me astray! Going back to the church, it was built between 1610 and 1618 to fulfill a vow made by Pesaresi in 1601 to assure a male heir to Francesco Maria II Della Rovere and his wife. The male heir was born on May 16th 1605: the day when the Gregorian calendar celebrates Sant’Ubaldo. The works for the church started on May 15th (that’s my birthday!) 1610 on a project by architect Francesco Guerrini da Pesaro (a pupil of Guidubaldo Dal Monte – friend of Galileo).
The façade we see today is the result of a modification ordered by Giulio Mamiani in 1853. The inside was modified in the late 1920’s on a project by architect Mario Urbani when the church was turned into a votive chapel to honor Pesaresi soldiers who died in WWI and during the independence and colonial wars (18 dead soldiers during the Independence wars, 4 in the Libia War, 410 in WWI, and 9 in the War of Africa). The monument is devoted to all those who died for our homeland.
When I walk by Sant’Ubaldo I take a deep breath and I cannot but think what a defeat for humanity all wars, past and present, are.