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“Little church of curiosities”

Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio
Ranked #530 of 1,498 things to do in Rome
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Owner description: Located in a small room next to a church, this eerie museum displays objects and photos of objects said to show traces of apparitions who reside in Purgatory.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
123 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Little church of curiosities”
Reviewed December 10, 2013

To be honest, we were very careful not to overdo churches on our trip to Italy. Just a few select ones to keep it special. When we read about this in the Atlas Obscura, we knew it was right up our alley. As luck would have it, it was one of the only attractions right on the same street as our hotel.
It's lovely inside; very serene. You have to go through the doors near the alter to find the "museum" part. I say "museum" because a display case or two doesn't usually warrant museum status. The priest that put the collection together was somewhat obsessed with the idea that things damaged by fire somehow equate to purgatory. If you like oddball things (like I do), it's worth a quiet little visit.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank therealmissrita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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Washington, DC
Level Contributor
258 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“Certainly unusual”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

My friends and I made the trip to this church twice to see the "museum." The first time the church was closed, but our curiosity brought us back. Be sure to ask the church caretaker to show you the room because it isn't obvious and there are no signs. The objects, which are about 15 in number, are kept in a closed room off the sanctuary and all are old. There are no modern messages here from the beyond.

It is up to individuals if they wish to view this as proofs of purgatory. The two non-Catholics of my group were the most impressed, but the items do raise questions not easily answered.

Visited November 2013
Thank Nana_JP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very interesting and hauntingly beautiful”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

To think that our prayers can help a soul to heaven makes sense, I loved that the scorch marks left as a reminder to people on earth to be good and to pray to help these souls is a wonderful concept. Amazingly these fiery proofs did not alight the whole page or clothing just the print itself was left. And from all ages and places. HELLO!!!!!. Anyhow there is also a striking statue of Jesus in the 3 days after death when he was in hell, with angels crying and Mary distraught, really something to see... This church is beautiful and a real subject to ponder over . It does need a cash injection but other than that an incredible church and a place to pray for the dead .

Visited November 2013
3 Thank Llydwina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Odd Museum”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

This is definitely worth the look for the church itself. Both the outside and inside are absolutely stunning!! The purgatory museum was small and a little eery...It is in the back right corner of the church and essentially are pictures or bibles behind a glass window with a matching story. Definitely worth checking out when you're in the Vatican City area. It is right by the Piazza dei Tribounali.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank BrittaXC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“The strangest 'museum' I have ever visited!”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

The church of Sacro Cuore del Suffragio is home to a very unusual museum, surely the only one of its kind in the world. To describe it as a museum is, perhaps, a misnomer, for the collection amounts to no more than a single display case. But the contents of that display case are very, very unusual.

In 1897, a priest by the name of Victor Jouet, began to make a curious collection of objects, ranging from skullcaps, breviaries and bibles to nightshirts and pillowcases. What all of the objects had in common were traces of fire, which, it was believed, had been made by people who were dead. Yes, dead. The scorched fingerprints and burnt hand marks were signs sent from beyond the grave, signs made by souls in Purgatory, imploring people to say more masses on their behalf and thus hasten their entry to paradise.

A few years ago the Museum was in danger of closing, as it seemed to be attracting the wrong kind of clientele. Most of the visitors, it transpired, were not Christians at all, but people interested in the paranormal, the supernatural and even the devil. However, the decision was taken to keep it open and it continues to attract in the region of 4,000 people a year. A few months ago, one of them was me.

Visited June 2012
8 Thank AGuidetoRome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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