Inside the Basilica
It has octagonal form, was finished in the month of May of the year 1500, by Giuliano da Sangallo. It reflects the influence of Brunelleschi and the defined structural style of Sangallo acquired through his long experience in the construction of fortifications.
The dome was frescoed by C.Maccari (1890-1907) with themes from the Litany of Loreto and the history of the dogma e.g the Immaculate Conception.
Chapel of the Crucifix
Behind the altar, wooden crucifix by Innocenzo da Petralia (1637); frescoes by B.Biagetti (1928-1932).
Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament or the French Chapel
It was painted with the offerings from french catholics.
On the walls canvases by c. Lameire (1896-1912): episodes from the life of St. Louis IX at Nazareth above the altar and on the right wall; the battle of the Templar Knights defending Nazareth, to the left.
Chapel of STS. Cyril and Methodius or the Slavic Chapel
It was painted with the offerings from slavic catholics (especially Croatian).
Triptych behind the altar by S.De Witten; frescoes by B.Biagetti (1912-1913) with episodes from the life of Ss. Cyril and Methodius; vault decorated by L.Stella.
Chapel of the Assumption or American Chapel
It was painted with the offerings from american catholics
Mosaic by Baccio della Porta. Frescoes by G. Steffanina (1970) with the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption others concerning Our Lady of Loreto, patroness of aviation.
German Chapel or Chapel of the Choir
It was painted with the offerings from german catholics
Frescoes by L.Seitz (1892-1908) illustrating episodes from the life of the Madonna. Choir by Gieffers from a design by G.Sacconi.
It was painted with the offerings from polish catholics
Frescoes and triptych behind the altar by A.Gatti (1913-1939). On the right wall, the victory of Sobiesky at Vienna; on the left, the Vistula battle.
Sacristy of St. John
Frescoes of the 15th century by Luca Signorelli (1479). In the vault 8 musician angels followed by the figures of the Evangelists and church scholars. Below: St. Paul on the road to Damascus, Christ and the Apostles. Inlaid cabinets and bench chests with views of objects inside (16th century)
Chapel of the Dukes of Urbino
The Chapel was committed by Guidobaldo the 2th and Francesco Maria the 2th della Rovere, dukes of Urbino (1571-1584).
The "Annunciation" is a mosaic by F.Barrocci; the stuccoes in the vault and the stone inlaied are by F.Brandoni. Frescoes on walls are by F.Zuccari (1585): the Betrothal, the Visitation, the Transitus, the Assumption, and the Coronation of Mary.
Chapel of St. Joseph or Spanish Chapel
Statue of St. Joseph and bas-relief by Eduard Barron Gonzales of Castilla; St. Michael, angels and tabernacle of bronze by E.Maccagnani; Frescoes by M.Faustini with scenes from the life of the Holy Family.
Chapel of St. Ann and St. Joachim or Swiss Chapel
It was painted with the offerings from swiss catholics
Mary's family (mosaic by Angelica Kauffmann). Pictorial decoration by C.Donati (1938) with scenes from the life of the child Mary.
Sacristy of St. Mark
Frescoes of the 15th century by Melozzo da Forlì (1477-1480). Masterpieces of perspective painting. In the vault, 8 windows in which 8 angels can be seen each one carrying a symbol of the Passion; further below, 8 prophets. Along the walls, Corinthian arches, one frescoed with Jesus entering Jerusalem.
The Side Chapels
In the two sides naves of the Basilica there are twelve chapels, six on each side, opened at the beginning of the 16th century by Bramante.
The most important of all the side Chapels, a true monument to the art and theology of Baptism, is the first one on the left nave, with paintings by Pomarancio on the vault, and the bronze baptismal font by Tiburzio Vergelli, made between 1600 and 1607.
Treasury Hall or Hall of Pomarancio
Built at the beginning of the 17th century to harbour liturgical ornaments, vestments and the votive gifts left by the churchgoers. Excellent Frescoes are by Cristoforo Roncalli, called Pomarancio (1605-1610), with ten stories from the life of the Madonna, six prophets and six Sibyls. These frescoes are considered masterpieces of the late roman “manierismo”. Nowadays the votive offerings kept inside the room are few and of little value, due to the depredation of the Treasury, first in 1797 by Napoleon (who came personally to conduct the robbery), and in 1974 by thieves. The most precious objects saved from the two pillages are now preserved in the Museum-Art Gallery.