Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Monday, June 23, 2014 0 Comments

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Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri or Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs in Rome is one of the heavenly titular churches you will ever see in your lifetime. Titular means that it’s a church in Rome that’s assigned to one of the cardinal priests. But that’s not the most interesting thing about this basilica. The fact that the one of the Architects of this baroque-style church is Michelangelo, along with Buonarroti, Luigi Vanvitelli is what makes it extraordinary.

And so when you serendipitously stumble upon a church like this, what do you do?

I'd feel at a loss for words.

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I’ll probably be repeating this over and over and over (and over) again, but the best way to reach all places in Rome is by foot. Rome is just built that way and it’s convenient to walk around and see the city like that. It’s the same for Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, whether its early mornings, midafternoons, weekdays or weekends, just alight the Repubblica Subway station and walk towards the Piazza della Repubblica.

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Overall, the basilica in itself is remarkably beautiful. The church façade alone is a show stopper – the frigidarium of the Baths of Diocletian, which looks like something you can find the Return of the Jedi #HanSoloinCarbonite. From the inside, aside from the raised space of the tribune, which looks like a perfect depiction of heaven, the meridian solar line made by Francesco Bianchini, which is an authentic Gregorian calendar tool. It still is operational, and you can see the historical details in bronze and white marble.

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The one to revere the most here is in the transept area. Michelangelo himself created a Greek cross design leaving unchanged several right-angle frames, the vestibule, and the chancel.

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With a staggering number of churches, monasteries, convents, religious structures, and icons scattered across Rome, it’s quite difficult to pick and choose which one is the best. But, this last great architectural project from the genius of Michelangelo is perhaps one of the top churches everyone should visit when in Rome. There’s much history, art, and science mixed to this faith-filled work of genius that you should see with your own eyes.

‪Via Cernaia, 9 | ‪Piazza della Repubblica, Rome, Italy (Castro Pretorio)

Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 51 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the limits of after-office hours and vacation leaves.

For invites, reviews, or collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

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