Lesser-Known Roman Churches, Part III

Continuing in our series, here is another church that is right in the historic center of Rome but which the average tourist will not visit.

There are two reasons for this: 1) The church is frequently closed (only open a couple of mornings a week); 2) It is at the end of a street with a lot of restaurants that are frequented at night, meaning you might not even see it until the evening, when it is most certainly closed.

Here is the beautiful facade. The rounded porch on the front is quite unique. Moreover, the edifice’s fine proportions, combined with the virtual cul-de-sac in which it is situated, and surrounded by buildings covered in ivy, makes for an exceedingly charming and lovely view. The restaurants outside the church are a bit on the too-touristy side, but it could be worth going if only to sit out side and enjoy the view.

Again, I forgot to take a photo of the outside, so I am relying on Wikimedia Commons for that part! The tower in the background belongs to the church “Santa Maria dell’Anima”, the next church to be featured in this series.

When you enter the church, there is this striking bronze relief on the right-hand side showing the dead Christ supported by the angels.

On the left, St. Bernardine of Siena; on the right, St. Catherine of Siena.

Here, then, is a view of the church’s sanctuary. There is an ancient image of Our Lady in the frame above the altar and, as you can see, it has been crowned (crown hovering above the frame).

Overall, it is a fairly simple design for a typical church in the center of Rome, though there are beautiful details, such as the bookmatched marble and the simple inscription, “MATER DEI” (Mother of God). Those angels on the wooden stands are more recent additions, I think, and need to find a new home.

Finally, here is a shot of the octagonal dome:

God the Father is depicted in the lantern.

I believe that it is currently open on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings from 9-12. There is usually a sign posted on the gate of the porch with the current hours. Adjacent to the church (left side) is a famous cloister, designed by Bramante, which sometimes hosts art exhibits.

Address/Info:

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pace
Arco della Pace, 5
00186 Rome, Italy

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