Field team: survey of the Santa Maria Assunta in cielo Cathedral, Fermo (FM)

The following pictures were taken by Eng. Francesco Graziotti, Eng. Ilaria Senaldi and Eng. Daniele Perrone representing Eucentre. Translation from Italian to English by Elide Pantoli (University of California, San Diego)

Date:                                     October 17th 2016

Category:                            Cathedral

Name of the structure:     Santa Maria Assunta in cielo cathedral

Building typology:              Unreinforced masonry

Municipality:                        Fermo (FM)

Epicentral distance:          [65 km]

Description of damage:

This structure, whose construction was started in 1227, is the main place of worship in the city of Fermo. The current configuration of the inside of the building dates back to the XVIII century, and it is in neoclassical style. The church has three naves separated by round arches and it has a double transept. The main nave and the transept are covered by a barrel vault (non structural reed and plaster vaults), while the smaller naves are covered with small domes, also made with the same reed and plaster technique. The central nave ends in a deep apse. The plan view of the cathedral is shown in one of the figures below.

The non-thrusting wooden pitched roof, was completely renovated in 1970, and it still is in a good state (see picture below).

The structure showed damage in four of the brick masonry arches, especially those in the south nave. The damage is visible in the keystone of the arch from the falling of plaster. Falling of bricks was not observed.

Damage to the reed and plaster vaults was also observed, part of which was pre-exisiting, and it was due to the interaction of these with the nearby masonry walls.

The vertical structures of the main body of the building and the apse presented very limited damage, part of which was pre-existing.


Exterior of the cathedral


Plan view of the building


Cracks in the canopy vaults


Damage to a masonry arch and a spandrel


Damage to a masonry arch


Roof structure supporting the nave valut




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