Rome's traditional working-class district `across the Tiber' has always stood apart from the rest of the city. It is now the gentrified turf of bourgeois Romans and expatriates. At night, restaurants, pizzerias, pubs and trendy wine bars spring to life with Romans and tourists who flock here to drink, eat, and chill out.
Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome
The Santa Maria in Trastevere is most likely the oldest church in Rome. It was probably built
by Pope Julius I (337-352), but is also said to heve been built before 313. Legend tells us it was
Pope Calixtus in the 3th century. This pope was tortured near the site, and the church was
originally built as a memorial chapel. So it could be built shortly after his death.
It was rebuilt under Pope Innocent II (1138-1148), in the first years of his pontificate. He kept the
basilical plan, although at that time the Gothic style was gaining popularity in Northern Europe.
In the 1860's, it was restored again.
The façade was rebuilt by Carlo Fontana in 1702. Four statues above the portal depict Saints Calixtus, Cornelius, Julius and Calepodius.
The mosaics behind the statues are from the 12th century. It is thought that Pietro Cavallini restored them in the 13th century. It depicts the parable of the wise and the unwise maidens, with the Holy Marry in the centre. The maidens on the right, not wearing crowns, have let their lamps burn out.
The belltower is from the 12th century. Near the top, a baldachino covers a mosaic of the Madonna with Child.
The internal granite columns are there since the 12th century rebuilding. It are reused columns from ancient buildings.
In the apse is a mosaic of the Blessed Virgin is from 1291, it is said to be by Pietro Cavallini. The main mosaic depicts the crowning the Holy Mary. On the left side are Pope Innocent II, holding a model of the church identifying him as the builder, St Lawrence and Pope St Callixtus. On the right side are Peter and Pope St Cornelius, Pope St Julius and St Calepodius.
Under it is a frieze with the Lamb of God and the Twelve Apostles.
Mosaic panels between the windows are the work of Pietro Cavallini.
They show scenes from the life of the Holy Mary.
The painting in the middle of the wooden ceiling is the Assumption of the Holy Mary painted by Domenichino in 1617. The rest of the ceiling was designed by the same artist.
The tomb of Pietro Cardinal Stefaneschi (died 1417) was made in the 15th century by Paolo Romano.
"Stories about the church:"
- Legend has it a spring of natural oil came out of the ground here a few years before christ was born.
In the 4th century St Jerome wrote that the Jewish community in Trastevere interpreted it as a sign that God's grace would soon flow into the world. This spot became the meeting place for the first Roman converts to Christianity.
- Another story tells there was a dispute between Christians and the tavern keepers over the right to use an assembly hall. Emperor Alexander Severus (222-235) decided in favour of the Christians. His argument was: religious worship, no matter in which
form, is better than drunkenness and orgies.
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Bed & Breakfast in Trastevere Rome
Hi VT members,
I was wondering if any of you could recommend a good B&B in Trastevere with the real Italian rustic charm, about 80 euros per room per night and easily accessible with Public Transport.