The Museum of the Popes

The Museum Network: culture and territory to be promoted and safeguarded.

Lorenzago di Cadore is a small village of 600 inhabitants placed in Veneto, in the high part of Belluno’s province, that links Cadore to Carnia via the Mauria Pass, constituting a border area of the Province and Region. Lorenzago, since the last decades of the 19th Century, is an appreciate holiday center but the village became famous all over the world for having hosted the summer stay of two Popes. Saint John Paul II chose to stay in Lorenzago seven times, Benedict XVI instead spent a holiday period in the area in July 2007.

In 2005, when John Paul II died, a group of young volunteers with the endorsement of the then parish priest of Lorenzago, Don Sergio De Martin, decided to dedicate something tangible to the six papal presences in the small town of Cadore. The historical rectory building, out of use for some years, was the most suitable location for a permanent exhibition dedicated to the presence of this illustrious character and it was restored for this reason. The 19th century building, built with stone recovered from the demolition of the bell tower, features a large, passing, central hallway and four rooms on the sides, resembling the ancient stately homes of the past.
This building was, for all sixty years of ministry, was the parish priest’s home Don Sesto Da Pra, who always welcomed Wojtyla during his holidays, enough to establish a relationship of respect and deep friendship. For this reason, at the ground floor, there’s his office with photos and memories of the priest who saw Lorenzago’s cradles and tombs from the year 1940 to 2000.

The exhibition is characterised by photos which depict the Holy Father during particular, institutional and in the wild moments, and that was enriched during the time with the precious objects belonged to Karol Wojtyla and donated directly by his private secretary and honorary citizen of Lorenzago, the Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow Stanislao Dziwisz, by Bishop Emeritus of Belluno-Feltre Monsignor Maffeo Ducoli, by Commander Camillo Cibin, already Head of the Vatican Gendarmerie and by other friends who had the initiative by heart. Among the important objects there are a white robe, a chasuble with a papal coat of arms, a pair of the classic red leather shoes, the walking sticks, the bench used for resting in the woods; but also, objects donated to the Pope during his travels, among which a remnant of spears arriving from Burundi, a shield made of wood from Papua New Guinea and a set of medals minted on the occasion of Papal journeys.
Touching is the room dedicated to contemplation with an evocative photo of Pope Wojtyla clinging to the cross and a precious relic arrived directly from Krakow. Inside the building there’s also a projection room where the films made during the six stays in Cadore are broadcast.

Since 2007, a room is dedicated to Pope Benedict XVI’s presence who, following the steps of his predecessor wanted to spend about three weeks in Lorenzago. In this room there are photos taken in the greenery of the nature, the stool used by Pope Ratzinger to play the piano and the kneeler used during the visit to the parish church. Then every year, inside the museum, thanks to various collaborations some testimonies or significant objects of the presence of the two Pontiffs are added, which are going to expand the already existing heritage.

During the summer the museum is open everyday, while the rest of the years it can be visited under reservation. The management of the structure is carried out in collaboration with the Parish of Lorenzago.

Open July and August from Tuesday to Sunday.

For other needs open by appointment.


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