The Sant’Agata dei Goti Church is located in the Monti district in Rome and dedicated to the martyr Agatha of Sicily. It was built in the 5th century by order of Ricimer.
Sant’Agata dei Goti Church Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via Mazzarino, 16 – Rome (tel. +39 06 48930456). Opening hours: 07.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00. Admission: Free.
History and description
It was originally constructed for the Goths, but the Catholic church appropriated the building in the year 592.
In the 9th century a Benedictine convent was built adjacent to the church and in the year 1633 the apse, which had collapsed in 1589, was rebuilt.
The Roman bell-tower stems from the 12th century.
The facade as we can see it nowadays is the result of am 18th century reconstruction by the architect Francesco Ferrari. Above the entrance a relief can be seen, picturing Agatha herself, holding a tray with her breasts on it. The breasts had been cut off by her torturers when she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
The nave and the two aisles are separated by 16 granite columns that form 6 arches.
The apse contains a well preserved tabernacle that dates from the 13th century.
The most beautiful part of Sant’Agata dei Goti is the courtyard, built around an ivy covered well, probably constructed in the year 1530.
To each side of the nave 6 scenes from Saint Agatha‘s life can be seen, probably the work of the 17th century painter Paolo Gismondi (aka Paolo Perugino).
In the course of the centuries Sant’Agata dei Goti changed names several times: During the Papacy of Leon III the official name was Sant’Agata in Diaconia (although, because of the equestrian statue of Julius Caesar on the church square, it was also called Sant’Agate del Caval di Marmo or Sant’Agate in Equo. In the 16th century the name was changed to Sant’Agata alla Suburra, but later, under Pope Pius X, it became Sant’Agata dei Goti (Saint Agatha of the Goths) again.