Treasure of Loreto

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The Treasure of Loreto at the Museum in Klausen

The Treasure of Loreto is the most significant part of the museum whose entire first floor is dedicated permanently to this unique collection of artwork.  It goes back to an endowment around 1700 by Queen Maria Anna of Spain (1667-1740) in response to a request by her confessor, Father Gabriel Pontifeser.

Fr. Gabriel was born in Chiusa/Klausen in 1653. His parental home used to be at the exact location of today’s Loreto Chapel.  After graduating and then entering the Capuchin Order in 1685, he came to the court of the principality of Pfalz Neuburg. Maria Anna, a daughter of the house, married Charles II, King of Spain in 1690. Fr. Gabriel followed her to the Spanish court as her personal confessor.

At his request, the Queen had the Capuchin monastery built in Chiusa/Klausen and stocked with valuable gifts. Her husband and the nobles at the Spanish soon followed her example. The Treasure’s paraments (altar cloths), religious objects, paintings and other pieces of art mostly come from the workshops of Spanish and Italian artists of the 16th and 17th century. One of the showpieces of the collection is the field altar of King Charles II.