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|Basilica of St. Mary|
of the Angels and the Martyrs
Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (in Italian)
Beatissimae Virginis et Omnium
Angelorum et Martyrum (in Latin)
The church facade is the frigidarium
of the Baths of Diocletian
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Minor basilica|
|Architect(s)||Michelangelo Buonarroti, Luigi Vanvitelli|
|Direction of façade||SW|
|Length||128 metres (420 ft)|
|Width||105 metres (344 ft)|
|Width (nave)||25 metres (82 ft)|
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs (Latin : Beatissimae Virgini et omnium Angelorum et Martyrum, Italian : Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri) is a basilica and titular church in Rome, Italy, built inside the ruined frigidarium of the Roman Baths of Diocletian in the Piazza della Repubblica.
It was constructed in the 16th century following an original design by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Other architects and artists added to the church over the following centuries. During the Kingdom of Italy, the church was used for religious state functions.
The basilica is dedicated to the Christian martyrs, known and unknown. By a brief dated 27 July 1561, Pius IV ordered the church "built", to be dedicated to the Beatissimae Virgini et omnium Angelorum et Martyrum ("the Most Blessed Virgin and all the Angels and Martyrs"). Impetus for this dedication had been generated by the account of a vision of the Archangel Uriel experienced in the ruins of the Baths in 1541 by a Sicilian monk, Antonio del Duca,who had been lobbying for decades for papal authorization of a more formal veneration of the Angelic Princes. A story that these Martyrs were Christian slave labourers who had been set to constructing the Baths is modern. It was also a personal monument of Pope Pius IV, whose tomb is in the apsidal tribune.
The thermae of Diocletian dominated the Viminal Hill with their ruined mass. Michelangelo Buonarroti worked from 1563 to 1564 to adapt a section of the remaining structure of the baths to enclose a church. Some later construction was directed by Luigi Vanvitelli in 1749.
At Santa Maria degli Angeli, Michelangelo achieved a sequence of shaped architectural spaces, developed from a Greek cross, with a dominant transept, with cubical chapels at each end, and the effect of a transverse nave. There is no true facade; the simple entrance is set within one of the coved apses of a main space of the thermae. The vestibule with canted corners and identical side chapels—one chapel has the tomb of Salvator Rosa, the other of Carlo Maratta—leads to a second vestibule, repeated on the far side of the transept, dominated by the over lifesize Saint Bruno of Cologne by Jean Antoine Houdon (1766). Of the Saint Bruno, Pope Clement XIV said that he would speak, were it not for the vow of silence of the order he founded.
The great vaulted transept emphasized the scale of the Roman constructions, 90.8 meters long, and with the floor that Michelangelo raised to bring it up to the 16th century street level, 28 meters high. Raising the floor truncated the red granite Roman columns that articulate the transept and its flanking spaces. Michelangelo made the transept 27 meters wide, thus providing vast cubical spaces at each end of the transept.
In 2006, Polish-born sculptor Igor Mitoraj created new bronze doors as well as a statue of John the Baptist for the basilica. In April 2010, a five-metre-high (16 ft) bronze statue of Galileo Galilei Divine Man (designed by 1957 Nobel laureate Tsung-Dao Lee) was unveiled in a courtyard within the complex.[ citation needed ] The statue (a dedication to the 17th-century scientist and philosopher) was a donation from CCAST (China Center of Advanced Science and Technology) and WFS (World Federation of Scientists).
Santa Maria degli Angeli was the official state church of the Kingdom of Italy (1870–1946). More recently, national burials have been held in the church. The church hosts the tombs of General Armando Diaz and Admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel, who were successful commanders during World War I on the Italian front. Also today the Basilica is used for many ceremonies, including the funeral of soldiers killed abroad.
At the beginning of the 18th century, Pope Clement XI commissioned the astronomer, mathematician, archaeologist, historian and philosopher Francesco Bianchini to build a meridian line, a sort of sundial, within the basilica. Completed in 1702, the object had a threefold purpose: the pope wanted to check the accuracy of the Gregorian reformation of the calendar, to produce a tool to predict Easter exactly, and, not least, to give Rome a meridian line as important as the one Giovanni Domenico Cassini had recently built in Bologna's cathedral, San Petronio. Alan Cook remarked, "The disposition, the stability and the precision are much better than those of the famous meridian... in Bologna".
This church was chosen for several reasons: (1) Like other baths in Rome, the building was already naturally southerly oriented, so as to receive unobstructed exposure to the sun; (2) the height of the walls allowed for a long line to measure the sun's progress through the year more precisely; (3) the ancient walls had long since stopped settling into the ground, ensuring that carefully calibrated observational instruments set in them would not move out of place; and (4) because it was set in the former baths of Diocletian, it would symbolically represent a victory of the Christian calendar over the earlier pagan calendar.
Bianchini's sundial was built along the meridian that crosses Rome, at longitude 12° 30' E. At solar noon, which varies according to the equation of time from around 10:54 a.m. UTC in late October to 11.24 a.m. UTC in February (11:54 to 12:24 CET), the sun shines through a small hole in the wall to cast its light on this line each day. At the summer solstice, the sun appears highest, and its ray hits the meridian line at the point closest to the wall. At the winter solstice, the ray crosses the line at the point furthest from the wall. At either equinox, the sun touches the line between these two extremes. The longer the meridian line, the more accurately the observer can calculate the length of the year. The meridian line built here is 45 meters long and is composed of bronze, enclosed in yellow-white marble.
In addition to using the line to measure the sun's meridian crossing, Bianchini also used the window behind the pope's coat of arms and a movable telescope to observe the passage of several stars such as Arcturus and Sirius to determine their right ascensions and declinations.The meridian line was restored in 2002 for the tricentenary of its construction, and it is still operational today.
The Church of S. Maria degli Angeli was designated a titular church for a Cardinal Priest on 15 May 1565 by Pope Pius IV.Since 1687, the following prelates have served as cardinal protector of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri:
Francesco Bianchini was an Italian philosopher and scientist. He worked for the curia of three popes, including being camiere d'honore of Clement XI, and secretary of the commission for the reform of the calendar, working on the method to calculate the astronomically correct date for Easter in a given year.
The Baths of Diocletian were public baths in ancient Rome, in what is now Italy. Named after emperor Diocletian and built from 298 AD to 306 AD, they were the largest of the imperial baths. The project was originally commissioned by Maximian upon his return to Rome in the autumn of 298 and was continued after his and Diocletian's abdication under Constantius, father of Constantine.
Basilica of St. Mary may refer to:
The Basilica of San Petronio is a minor basilica and church of the Archdiocese of Bologna located in Bologna, Emilia Romagna, northern Italy. It dominates Piazza Maggiore. The basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Petronius, who was the bishop of Bologna in the fifth century. Construction began in 1390 and its main facade has remained unfinished since. The building was transferred from the city to the diocese in 1929; the basilica was finally consecrated in 1954. It has been the seat of the relics of Bologna's patron saint only since 2000; until then they were preserved in the Santo Stefano church of Bologna.
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The National Roman Museum is a museum, with several branches in separate buildings throughout the city of Rome, Italy. It shows exhibits from the pre- and early history of Rome, with a focus on archaeological findings from the period of Ancient Rome.
Santa Maria degli Angeli is the name of several churches in Italy and one in Libya. They include:
Repubblica–Teatro dell'Opera is an underground station on Line A of the Rome Metro. The station was inaugurated in 1980 and takes its name from the Piazza della Repubblica underneath which it lies.
Giovanni Odazzi was an Italian painter and etcher of the Baroque period, active mainly in Rome.
The Villa Celimontana is a villa on the Caelian Hill in Rome, best known for its gardens. Its grounds cover most of the valley between the Aventine Hill and the Caelian.
Charitable institutions attached to churches in Rome were founded right through the medieval period and included hospitals, hostels, and others providing assistance to pilgrims to Rome from a certain "nation", which thus became these nations' national churches in Rome. These institutions were generally organised as confraternities and funded through charity and legacies from rich benefactors belonging to that "nation". Often also they were connected to national "scholae", where the clergymen were trained. The churches and their riches were a sign of the importance of their nation and of the prelates that supported them. Up to 1870 and Italian unification, these national churches also included churches of the Italian city states.
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Antonio del Duca or Lo Duca was the Sicilian friar whose persistent campaign for an official veneration of the "Seven Angelic Princes" was partly answered in the dedication of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, constructed to the orders of Pope Pius IV within the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian.
St. Mary of the Angels may refer to:
Piazza della Repubblica is a semi-circular piazza in Rome, at the summit of the Viminal Hill, next to the Termini station. On it is to be found Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri. It is served by the Repubblica – Teatro dell'Opera Metro station. From the square starts one of the main streets of Rome, Via Nazionale.
Diocletian windows, also called thermal windows, are large semicircular windows characteristic of the enormous public baths (thermae) of Ancient Rome. They have been revived on a limited basis by some classical revivalist architects in more modern times.
Niccolò Albergati-Ludovisi was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of Bologna.
Speaking of great churches, according to Fr. Marcello Stanzione, it was Uriel who in a vision inspired the 15th century priest, Antonio del Duca, to prevail upon the then Pope to build the wondrous S. Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri.
La stella veniva osservata con un telescopio portatile posto sulla Linea.
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