Christian Rome, Rome
The catacombs where the young Santa Agnes was laid to rest after her martyrdom in 304AD became a place of pilgrimage almost immediately after her death and when Constantine's daughter Constantia was cured (legend says of leprosy) by praying to the saint they became important enough for an imperial princess herself to be entombed there. Constantia ordered the building first of a baptistry (where she and her sister Helena were baptised) and later a funerary hall over the catacomb, but a princess requires a grander burial place than this and so a mausoleum was raised over the site and decorated in style befitting her noble ancestry.
Now known as the Chiesa di Santa Constanza (although she was neiher officially canonized nor even buried here - she died before the building was completed) the mausoleum was more probably used for the burial of Helena, who was both the daughter of one emperor and the wife of another. Constantia's body was moved here to lie beside her sister in a magnificent porphyry sarcophagus. Her body was later buried beneath the central altar and the building consecrated as a church in her name.
The church is circular, with 12 pairs of elegant pillars supporting the dome and a barrel-vaulted ambulatory set with delicate mosaics of fruit and flowers, birds and beasts, the oldest surviving Christian ones known. Although not all have survived - those in the dome were said to be of astonishing beauty but were destroyed in the 17th century and a now-fading frescoed ceiling put in their place - the ones that remain give us an idea of just how lovely this little building must have been. The symbols used have significance to both pagan and Christian beliefs - an intriguing reminder of the duality of Constantine's position at this time. Later mosaics (6th or 7th century) in the niches are totally Christian and considerably less sophisticated in their execution though their original borders remain and give some idea of the richness of the images these have replaced.
You can acces the church either through a gate in the far corner of the garden of the adjacent Basilica of Saint Agnes or via a short road at th end of the wall around the church garden. The church looks best in afternoon light but it is a popular wedding venue so you may have to wait before you can enter.
Open: Monday 0900-1200; Tuesday-Saturday: 0900-1200, 1600-1800; Sunday: 1600-1800
The church can be found in the area known as Nomentana, a short distance outside the city walls, north-east of Termini.
Address: Via Nomentana 349. Take Bus #36 from Termini or #60 from Piazza Venezia
What was "off the beaten path" ten years ago in Rome is now one of the usual hundreds of "things to do". This church is still "off the beaten path" it seems but for how long?
Consequently we felt daring explorers; we were the only visitors, when we visited the church Santi Quattro Coronati located on the Celio between the Colosseum and San Giovanni in Laterano.
The church dates back to the 4th or 5th century and is one of the oldest of Rome.
It was part of the fortifications protecting the Lateran palace. The first courtyard with the fortified tower illustrates the defensive function of this religious building with massive walls consisting of a basilica and a number of other sacred spaces such as crypt, courtyards, monastery and the residential ancient palace of Cardinals. We could see the back of the cardinal's palace from the terrace of our hotel.
The four saints and martyrs to whom the church is devoted remain anonymous. The tradition says that they were sculptors in the quarries of Pannonia; another later tradition says they were soldiers who refused to sacrifice to Aesculapius, and therefore were killed by order of Emperor Diocletian (284-305). The bodies of the martyrs are kept in four ancient sarcophagi in the crypt.
In the 16th c. the premises were given to the Augustinian order by the Pope Pius IV. Part of the building became an orphanage; the Augustinian nuns put a revolving drum by its entrance which was used as a deposit "box" for unwanted babies.
In 2002 an amazing display of frescoes, dating back to 13th century, were discovered in the Gothic hall of the monastery under a thick layer of plaster, and represented the Twelve Months, the Liberal Arts, the Four Seasons and the Zodiac.
We liked the 13th century Cosmatesque cloister. It is very simple in its decoration, not to be compared with the cloisters of the Basilicas San Giovanni in Laterano or San Paolo fuori le mura. Here we had the impression to be far outside Rome in ancient times.
a wonderful church up the stairs from piazza di spagna and just before tackling the villa borghese gardnes/park.
The Church of Trinità dei Monti, after St. Peter's Basilica, it is from appearing above the staircase that leads into the square of Spain,one of the most sought after photos in Rome.
The Church and the adjoining convent were built at the behest of s. Francesco di Paola to give a home to the fledgling Order , the Church was finished in 1519 and the convent in 1550, the current façade and the expansion of the Church were built in 1584 by Giacomo della Porta and just three years after it was created by Domenico Fontana the access stairway to the Church.
The Interior has a single nave with seven chapels on each side, two thirds of the nave stands a cancelled, the chapels are a triumph of murals that span a variety of styles and epochs. right chapels:in the first (1573) frescoes on St. John the Baptist by g. b. Naldini (1580);in the third, the chapel of the assumption (1548), frescoes by Daniele da Volterra e Michele Greeks;the fourth chapel of the sepulchre (1537), view frescoes of the 16th century work of the Nogari, the altarpiece that replaces the original Blade (always of the Nogari) is the work of l. v. Pallière (1817), flanked by the gravestones of the Orsini, to whom is dedicated the chapel are the work of l. Sormani (1567 and 1575);la quinta, the chapel of the Nativity (1534), completely frescoed by anonymous artist depicting the Nativity, the adoration of the Magi (left) circumcision and in time the prophets;The sixth, of Ascension (1517), frescoes by perugino's school.Left chapels:The first, cappella della Pietà (1574 in April 2011 and currently being restored) with frescoes by Nebbia and sculptures by Achtermann (19th century);immediately after there is the chapel of the deposition (1551) with frescoes by Daniele da Volterra pupil Prince of Michelangelo;The third, the chapel of Magdalene (1532), was originally decorated with frescoes by g. Romano and g. f. Penni established disciples of Raphael, then Perin del Vaga was instructed to end the cycle of frescoes by witnesses seemed to arouse deep admiration among his contemporaries, unfortunately the collapse of time occurred in the 19th century, compromised mostly of works of art, parts of these works are currently on exhibit at the National Gallery and the Victoria Albert museum of London &the altarpiece is by an unknown artist, which replaces the much more famous pala Noli me Tangere currently at the Prado in Madrid. (16th century)close the left side the chapel of the Virgin (1523) frescoed by Perin del Vaga.The presbytery is raised, in the Center the altar dominated by a Colonnade decorated.
the area and the church are a must while in Rome. Another of the French influence churches in Rome. You can reach it by metro: line A, stop or fermata Spagna. Bus: lines 117, 119
wonderful church near the cathedral, and a great place of pilgrimage even while we were there; folks walk on their knees into the nave. Nice spectacles in todays fast world. It is at the same square as the cathedral, Piazza San giovanni In Laterano.
According to a medieval tradition, this staircase was transported from Jerusalem to Rome in 326 by Helena, mother of the first Christian Emperor, Constantine. This Roman Scala Santa, composed of 28 markets of white marble, was transported in 1589, during the pontificate of Sixtus V, of the old Lateran Palace being destroyed to the Sancta sanctorum located on the left side of the place Saint John Lateran, in the Basilica of San Salvatore della Scala Santa.
The staircase, flanked by two other classic use stairs, was surrounded by wooden panels decorated with paintings al fresco representing scenes from the Passion of Christ and made by Giovanni Baglione, Giacomo Stella, Giovanni Battista Pozzo, Paris Nogari, Prospero Orsi, Ferrau Fenzoni, Paul Bril, Paulo Guidotti, Giovanni Battista Ricci, Cesaro Torelli, Antonio Vivarini, Andrea Lilio, Cesare & Vicenzo Conti ,Baldassare Croce, Ventura Salimbeni, and Antonio Scalvat. The Scala Santa leads to a scene of the Crucifixion.This staircase is accessible to all the faithful who should climb it only to his knees. Also the buildings of the Scala Santa House on the right in San Silvestro oratory Palatio and the chapel of San Lorenzo in Palatio so-called Sancta Sanctorum, which was the former private chapel of the Pope
This seems from the outside looks like a simple church, not inspired to go in, but once you are in, it is wonderful with the preserve body of the saint.
Piazza di San Francesco D'Assisi, 88 00153 Roma
we walk from santa maria in trasteverde over to this one on foot coming from over the river tiber on foot too, once been drop by the metro piramide.
Church is open every day except when service from 7h to 13h and 14h to 19h30
A bit of history found on the site
In this place St. Francis of Assisi lived during his visits to the Holy Father, when the Church greeted the Little Poor Man in its arms. In this place sits the "room" where Francis retired, among the lepers, where it was the Benedictine Hospice of San Biagio. In this place, Francis strengthened over time friendship with the roman noblewoman Iacopa de 'Settesoli, the spiritual friend who was closest during the last days of his earthly life. In this place, the Order of Friars Minor of St. Francis has experienced decisive moments of its history in Rome and throughout the world. In this place, the people of the district of Trastevere has always found friendship and comfort. In this place, in 1906, St. Pius X founded the Parish of San Francesco a Ripa Grande. In this place, in 2011 the Roman Province of the Minor Friars has decided to follow the experience of St. Francis in the spirit of the place, initiating an experience of sharing with brothers and sisters homeless. In this place, the Friars preserve the Provincial Library, with a collection of books among the oldest and most important of Rome, and a library specializing in Franciscan. In this place, finally, there are works of artistic importance as the sculptures made by Fra Diego da Careri, the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the altarpiece made by Francesco Salviati, and a wealth of art among the most important about the Baroque Rome. In this place, dear visitor, the Friars, who live here today, are happy to invite you and greet you with the words of St. Francis: “The Lord give you peace”.
indeed you feel peace once inside, very nice place. A must.
Up the hill coming from circus massimo along the river tiber on aventino we climb a hilly street that gave direction to this church, we went around it and had superb views of Roma in addition to a wonderful basilica.
here is some more of it
Founded by Pietro, priest from Illiria, between 422 and 432, on an antique "Titulus Sabinae" probably raised in the house of a Sabina matron that then ended up identifying itself with the saint with the same name from Umbria. In 824 the "Schola Cantorum" was added up, by the hand of Pope Eugenio II. In 1222 Pope Onorio III gave it to San Domenico for his Ordine and on that occasion the bell-tower and the nice cloister were built. Other restoration phases followed up, until the internal transformation by the hand of Domenico Fontana in 1587. During the two years of the world wars one proceded with the total recovery of the church, to the extent that it actually represents the most perfect type of Christian basilica from C.V. The façade, preceded by the atrium, consist of arcades supported by four antique marble columns fluted into spirals and four granite ones, which hold slabs’ fragments, sarcophagi from the Imperial age and ruins of antique barriers. The middel portal of the church, which has a nice Classical marble frame, is closed by precious wings made of cypress wood, reproducing scenes from the Antico and the Nuovo Testamento in relief. The interior, basilical, bright, wide and solemn, is divided up by three naves by twenty four corinthian fluted columns. From the original decoration dated C. V one only finds a big mosaic strip with an inscription with nice golden letters on a light blue background, which bears the names of Pietro di Illiria and the Pope of that time, Celestino I. It is the only church that had the priviledge to own a baptismal spring.
a nice park of savello is nearby and in very nice area, worth climbing after all.
a strange church basilica right in the middle of ruins, it struck me from afar in the fiori imperiali and went inside. It was a pleasant surprise to see , very nice, and great frescoes.
a bit of historical description
The basilica was built on the remains of the temple of Romulus probably erected on the foundations of the temple of Jupiter Stator by the Emperor Maxentius to the glory and memory of his son Romulus, who died in 309. In 527, the Ostrogoth Theodoric the great King and his daughter Amalasuntha gives the library of peace of the forum of peace (Bibliotheca Pacis) and a portion of the Temple of Romulus to Pope Félix IV, who built a Basilica dedicated to the Greek martyrs Cosmas and Damian.
In the 9th century the body of Marc and Marcellin were transported and were rediscovered only in 1583.In 1512, the Basilica is allocated to the third order regular of St. Francis that the still manages today. In 1632, Pope Urban VIII ordered the restructuring of the building on Orazio Torriani and under the direction of Luigi Arrigucci plans: the floor of the Basilica is elevated 7 meters due to water infiltration, a cloister is created.
In 1947, during the restoration of the Imperial forums, the entrance to the Basilica by the temple of Romulus, which is totally restored on its original plans for the occasion, is deleted and moved on via dei Fori Imperiali.The Church houses since the 8th century the cardinal title of Santi Cosma e Damiano.
a nice shades place full of history to visit while in Rome.
This one is a fantastic building, at Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 51, 00187 Roma
it has a beautiful patio plus great frescoes and sculptures on the walls. we were delighted to find this airy space full of beautiful paintings and deco.
Once inside we found out, this order was born in October 2008 !!! on the initiative of Cardinal Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi, who combines in one pastoral unit the three parishes of s. Eufemia,S. Maria al Paradiso and SS. Apostles and Nazaro.
The new pastoral proposal of the Diocese focuses "Saints" community in the parishes of St. Euphemia, Santa Maria al Paradiso e s. Calimero, Santi Apostoli e Nazaro Maggiore ,and to have an opportunity to make the church more faithful to the Gospel. Invites priests and laity to discern together, in the logic of genuine co-responsibility. It is headed by the parish priest with 5 priests and a deacon. In this connection, Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi urges us to find new roads, to try with creativity and courage unprecedented initiatives, to cross the life and experience of those who live in our neighborhood and giving them the joy of the Gospel.
Very unique initiative in an old old city.
Nice church facade at Via del Corso, 437, 00186 Roma
a fraternity of Ambrose and Charles founded in 1471 AD. It is of barocco style, inside you will see a Latin cross of huge proportions (72meters by 54 meters)), a vast nave, with ambulatory and crypt, dome of 72 meters high. the chapel with cupola and an prayer area with painting of Tommaso Della Porta. In this basilica it is preserved a precious relic of the body of Saint Carlo Borromeo, given by Cardinal Federico Borromeo in 1614.
in a sea of grandeouse churches this one seems simple but pretty to walk by and even go inside. It is at a popular street for shopping in Rome, via del corso.
or in Italian Chiesa dei Santi Angeli Custodi , its a nice small church by the via Tritone, housing the angel in custody. It is off a nice busy street tuck in a small square. the colors and chapels were very nice and many do stop over here, even if less known of the great churches of Rome.
We were pleasantly glad to have entered and see it.
a bit of history
The Church of the Holy Angels was a Basilica Church in Rome, in the rione Trevi, via del Tritone. Was reduced in size between 1928 and 1929 for the widening of via del Tritone and the construction of the tunnel under the Quirinale. It was consecrated during the pontificate of Urban VIII in 1624 and entrusted to the Archconfraternity of guardian angels, who owned it until 1905, when it was entrusted to the care of the Congregation of the priests of the sacred heart of Jesus of bethelem.
The Interior was elliptical; the high altar, completed in 1681 by Carlo Rainaldi, inclosed a painting depicting the guardian angel by Giacinto Brandi. The sides there were two altars, one dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, depicted in a precious Roman canvas by Luca Giordano. the other dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with a canvas by Carlo Maratta depicting the Virgin Mary giving the Rosary to St. Dominic. A plaque reminded that internal to the confraternity of guardian angels also belonged to Pope Clement XI, who endowed the Church with rich ornaments. Finally it seems that the Church also contains a painting of Catherine Gymnasiums, painter of the 17th century.
I just came back from my 4th trip to Rome and I took Rick Steves advice this time and popped in to every church that I walked by. Let me tell you all something, don't just stop with St. Peter's, go to all the churches. I went into The Church of Jesus (Gesu) which was so beautiful, one can not put it into words. The ceiling is almost a 3D design that is magnificent. The chapels in the church are so beautiful, the marble on the main alter is one of a kind. Absolutely beautiful!
The church of St. Agnes in the Piazza Navona must also be experienced. Absolutely beautiful. The church of St. Paul outside the walls is magnificent too, although Jesus has a frown on the main mosaic. There is a large church across from the Termini train station just past the parking lots on the right which is magnificent (a few bums outside there though). But all in all, visit every church you encounter! The outside may look plain or even a bit run down, but go on inside and have a wonderful surprise. I went to a church service on New Years Day and after praying, looked up at that ceiling and was greatly moved. So enjoy the artwork and enjoy the opportunity to pray in a church that is over 500 years old and feel the Spirit of God move you.
All the best to you and yours, Scott in Greenville, South Carolina, USA
This church sort of stood out because Rome has only one true Gothic church (Santa Maria Sopra Minerva- which has a Michelangelo sculpture- go there!) and this one looked so different from the other churches you will see.
If you think its old, its not! It was only consecrated in 1917. Despite its very ornate (and very French) look, its actually all concrete.
Its official name is Sacro Cuore di Gesù in Prati but its also known as Sacro Cuore del Suffragio. Its located in Prati, right by the Palace of Justice.
Inside it has three naves, great stained glass work. It was inspired by the Cathedral of Milan and is often referred to as Il piccolo Duomo di Milano.
Inside there is also a small museum about the Souls of Purgatory, which I didn't entirely understand. A number of bibles and other documents are shown with what appear to be burned in hand prints or marks. What I was told was that this is sign that the souls in purgatory, a way station between heaven and earth, are asking their relatives on earth to pray harder so that their sins may be forgiven. I was skeptical to say the least. A very small museum if it can be called that at all, it is more just an exhibition.
Santi Nereo and Achilleo is the old church facing the Baths of Caracalla and dating back to late 4th century. It is dedicated (as are several Roman churches of the period) to martyred soldiers. They were initially buried in the Christian catacombs of Domitilla, but their remains were later moved to the church consecrated to their memory.
Although the exterior is austere in keeping with the Romanesque style of architecture prevalent in early 9th century when the church was rebuilt, the interior is richly decorated with frescoes and mosaics, some of these dating back to the rule of Pope Leo III who was responsible for the rebuilding of the church. In particular, look out for the Transfiguration, the Annunciation and the Madonna and Child.
Situated between the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano and the Colosseum and begun back in the 4th century (although some estimates date the church about 75 years later) is a basilica dedicated to four anonymous saints and martyrs - the name itself is translates as 'four crowned saints' from Italian. The names of the saints are not known, but it's believed they were soldiers who were killed by Diocletian for refusing to perform sacrifices to a Roman god.
The most frequent hypothesis is that their names were Severo, Severiano, Carpoforo and Vittorino. They are buried nearby, except that the head of one of them is said to be buried in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
The original church, built on the foundations of a Roman villa and completed in the 6th century, was later burned down by the Norman invaders and a smaller two-part basilica was built on the same spot by the Pope Paschal II. The Cardinal Palace was added in the 13th century by Cardinal Conti, a relative of the Pope Innocent III.
Piazza San Pietro is of huge proportions although it visually doen't look so because of semicircular wings around it central part. The square was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, from 1656 to 1657, and under the direction of Pope Alexander VII. The idea was to make a forecourt designed so that great numberof people could see the Pope give his blessing. By trapezoidal shape of the square Bernini created a hightened perspective for a visitor leaving the basilica. On the other side, the colonnade forms the solemn entrance to St. Peter's and the Vatican. The two great open semicircular wings seem as if they were the outsteched arms of the church, receiving all of mankind in one universal embrace. The colonnade shows the height of Bernini's genius.
There are 140 statues of saints decorating the colonnades, all designed by Bernini but were sculpted with the help of his pupils.