Sacro Cuore di Cristo Re

Last updated

Church of Sacred Heart of Christ the King
Chiesa del Sacro Cuore di Cristo Re(in Italian)
Cristore35.jpg
Religion
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Titular church, Minor basilica
Location
Location Flag of Italy.svg Rome, Italy
Geographic coordinates 41°55′2.64″N12°27′55.25″E / 41.9174000°N 12.4653472°E / 41.9174000; 12.4653472 Coordinates: 41°55′2.64″N12°27′55.25″E / 41.9174000°N 12.4653472°E / 41.9174000; 12.4653472
Architecture
Architect(s) Marcello Piacentini
Type Church
Style Italian rationalism
Groundbreaking1920
Completed1934
Specifications
Dome(s)1
Dome height (outer)36 meters (118 ft 1.3 in)
Dome dia. (inner)20 meters (65 ft 7.4 in)

Sacro Cuore di Cristo Re is a Roman Catholic church (minor basilica) in Rome, designed between the 1920s and 1930s by Marcello Piacentini.

Marcello Piacentini Italian architect

Marcello Piacentini was an Italian urban theorist and one of the main proponents of Italian Fascist architecture.

Contents

History

The idea for a new church in the newly developed Quartiere della Vittoria (literally District of Victory, named for the victory in World War I) came from Ottavio Gasparri, member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus religious institute. At first the church was to be named Tempio della Pace, [1] to remember and honour the fallen of World War I. Construction began in May 1920. [2] The original design proposed by Marcello Piacentini was inspired by the churches built in Rome in the 16th century.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as, "the war to end all wars," it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

A religious institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in the Catholic Church where its members take religious vows and lead a life in community with fellow members. Religious institutes are one of the two types of institutes of consecrated life; the other is that of the secular institute, where its members are "living in the world".

Construction halted with the death of Ottavio Gasparri, in 1929. In the next two years Piacentini changed radically the project, being inspired by the emerging Rationalist movement, and the Sacro Cuore di Gesù marked the turning point of the sacred architecture in Rome. The construction started again in 1931 and the church was inaugurated in 1934.

Rationalism (architecture) architectural style

In architecture, rationalism is an architectural current which mostly developed from Italy in the 1920s and 1930s. Vitruvius had claimed in his work De Architectura that architecture is a science that can be comprehended rationally. This formulation was taken up and further developed in the architectural treatises of the Renaissance. Progressive art theory of the 18th-century opposed the Baroque use of illusionism with the classic beauty of truth and reason.

Sacred architecture

Sacred architecture is a religious architectural practice concerned with the design and construction of places of worship or sacred or intentional space, such as churches, mosques, stupas, synagogues, and temples. Many cultures devoted considerable resources to their sacred architecture and places of worship. Religious and sacred spaces are amongst the most impressive and permanent monolithic buildings created by humanity. Conversely, sacred architecture as a locale for meta-intimacy may also be non-monolithic, ephemeral and intensely private, personal and non-public.

The church became a parish church under Pope Pius XI on 31 October 1926 with the apostolic constitution Regis pacifici. On 5 February 1965 was declared titular church by Pope Paul VI with the apostolic constitution Sacrum Cardinalium Collegium. Later that year, with the motu proprio Recentioris architecturae the church became a minor basilica.

Pope Pius XI 20th-century Catholic pope

Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was head of the Catholic Church from 6 February 1922 to his death in 1939. He was the first sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929. He took as his papal motto, "Pax Christi in Regno Christi," translated "The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ."

An apostolic constitution is the most solemn form of legislation issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church received from Roman law.

Pope Paul VI Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978

Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Design

The church has a brick façade with alternate courses raised and recessed; the façade is capped with travertine and the doors and windows are framed with the same material. The floor plan, with a central nave of approximately 70 metres in length and flanked by two aisles, is a hybrid of a Latin cross and a Greek cross. The hemispherical dome is 36 metres high and 20 metres in diameter. Over the main portal there is a high relief by Arturo Martini depicting the sacred heart of Jesus. Around the interior are the Stations of the Cross in bronze by Alfredo Biagini.

Travertine A form of limestone deposited by mineral springs

Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems. It is frequently used in Italy and elsewhere as a building material.

Nave main body of a church

The nave is the central part of a church, stretching from the main entrance or rear wall, to the transepts, or in a church without transepts, to the chancel. When a church contains side aisles, as in a basilica-type building, the strict definition of the term "nave" is restricted to the central aisle. In a broader, more colloquial sense, the nave includes all areas available for the lay worshippers, including the side-aisles and transepts. Either way, the nave is distinct from the area reserved for the choir and clergy.

Aisle architectural element

An aisle is, in general (common), a space for walking with rows of seats on both sides or with rows of seats on one side and a wall on the other. Aisles can be seen in airplanes, certain types of buildings, such as churches, cathedrals, synagogues, meeting halls, parliaments and legislatures, courtrooms, theatres, and in certain types of passenger vehicles. Their floors may be flat or, as in theatres, stepped upwards from a stage.

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References

  1. (in Italian)Roma - Guide Rosse d'Italia, Touring Editore, 1999, page 723
  2. 1924, according to (in Italian)Roma - Guide Rosse d'Italia, Touring Editore, 1999, page 723

Further reading