Santa Maria delle Moje
Benedictine Abbey was built on the banks of the Esino river. It has been
named after the characteristic bushes that grow in such an environment:
It was anciently surrounded by woods called “Santa”. The abbey was
founded as private monastery by Attoni – Alberici – Gozoni families at
the beginning of XI Century. The Abbey greatly developed from 1295 to 1400 so much as to own up to
430ha of land. The decay (beginning of XVI) was due to the decreased
number of monastic vocations. Benedictine monks remained as far as 1456 when Papa Callisto III put the
place under the care of the Chapter of the Jesi Cathedral.
The first restoring works were carried out in 1524. An epigraph stands as
evidence of them above the entrance. The Abbey was then given the importance of a parish by the Council of
Trent. It was
so provided with baptismal font. The Abbey was later restored in 1788. The
altar was moved behind the main door that was closed. A
new entrance was opened in the central apse in the same years.
The main part of the monastery collapsed. The ruins were then restored by
the Sopraintendenza ai Monumenti de Le Marche in 1919-1924. After these
works the abbey has been listed among the Italian Monuments with national
importance. The Abbey is sided by the ancient Flambenga road and on the other by the
Maria delle Moje Abbey is a Romanic building. It is composed by a forepart
and the church itself. The Abbey is built in regular, limestone blocks. There
are four pillars in the middle and five apses. Three of them are at the
bottom of the church and the two remaining ones are one on each
The church is divided into three naves culminating in the apses and
separated by two pillars with cross like base.
The central navy is covered by a vaulted ceiling while the side ones by a
cross vaulted ceiling.
The third storey of the forebody is divided into different rooms. A quadrangular
bell tower stands next to it. Cubic
capitals decorated with floral elements, brank-ursine leaves and small
palm together with the frames of the side apses decorated with wolf teeth
are the ornamental elements of the church.
The portal outside has been completely restored. It presents a moulding
composed of three archivolts sustained by semi-pillars and semi-columns.
The whole portal is decorated with vegetal elements (palms, vine-shoots
ornate with stylized leaves, caules and small roses).
much of the Monastery has survived the centuries: a rectangular room
covered in brick barrel vault with a stair case leading to an underground
room covered by a cross vaulted ceiling and a second communicating space
covered in four beautiful cross vaults (it was probably the Capitular
The underground room is served by 3 tunnels and the second space can be
accessed also from the yard (anciently cloister).