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Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Orazione e Morte

31 Reviews

Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Orazione e Morte

31 Reviews
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Via Giulia 262, 00186 Rome Italy
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SpagnaRome Metro22 min
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dapper777 wrote a review Jul 2020
Monaco24,237 contributions2,433 helpful votes
+1
It is an imposing ,striking church located in a beautiful elegant street, via Giulia, near the Arco Farnese, with a slightly macabre note. In fact, the church was intended to collect the bodies of the nameless dead found in the countryside or drowned in the Tiber, and provide them with a Christian burial. The current church was built in 1733-1737 and it replaced a previous one which was much smaller. The brotherhood of the Deads had a small graveyard behind the church, it was decorated with bones similar to the ossuary of Chiesa dei Cappuccini. The 'Congregazione of S. Maria dell'Orazione e Morte', the brotherhood in charge of burying the abandoned dead, requested architect Ferdinando Fuga to place winged skulls with laurel wreaths on the façade. We had visited that church some time ago but very quickly, the nuns were closing it that evening. We knew that the church and the crypt had been closed for some time for major restoration works. The other day we were just around and we just wanted to see if it was open, in order to update our photo file. There was a large sign posted on the door that said the church was closed for restoration and visits were not allowed. We hope that in the near future this beautiful church, unknown to the Romans themselves, can be reopened to the public.
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Date of experience: August 2019
2 Helpful votes
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SoCalOregonian wrote a review Oct 2019
Murrieta, California9,162 contributions1,089 helpful votes
+1
When we visited in April, the church was still closed for restoration. The exterior of the church is unlike any I have seen with carved images of skulls and winged skeletons adorning plaques on the front of the building. This church from 1570s was devoted to providing proper burials for unclaimed corpses. It is well worth stopping to visit just for the exterior alone.
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Date of experience: April 2019
1 Helpful vote
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SuperTed19 wrote a review Jun 2019
Madison, Wisconsin612 contributions264 helpful votes
There are not massive statues. There are not dozens of paintings by top artists. There is not gold paint on everything. That may explain why there are not tourists here. Make it a point to visit. It’s not far from the “cool” places, and it won’t take much of your time. As a reward, you are likely to come away with a better understanding of what many of the smaller churches were/are doing for poor people. I certainly did.
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Date of experience: May 2019
1 Helpful vote
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SoCalOregonian wrote a review Jun 2018
Murrieta, California9,162 contributions1,089 helpful votes
This church is located along Via Giulia, next to the Farnese Arch and is rather macabre. Around the entry portal are two laurelled skulls and above is a carving of “time flying” and a plaque with the inscription (loosely translated) “today me, tomorrow you” Our tour guide said that the church does not have regular open hours so finding it open is a challenge. Inside it is room decorated with human bones, it was the brother’s responsibility to collect and bury abandoned corpses.
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Date of experience: April 2018
1 Helpful vote
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MoniUsa wrote a review Mar 2018
New York152 contributions46 helpful votes
This is a very unique place to get to know the philosophy behind the habit that in the 1700's the Dominican monks had on decorating churches with human bones. It has been under restoration for a lot of years. I think they reopened again and if you can I think you should go and take a look at it. An other similar place is Via Veneto, The Crypts of the Dominican Monks.
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Date of experience: March 2018
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