The Sant’Anastasia al Palatino Church is one of the oldest churches in Rome and the first one that was built within the original city center. It is also the only church in Rome that stays open 24 hours a day.
Sant’Anastasia al Palatino Church Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Piazza di Sant’Anastasia – Rome (tel. +39 06 6782980). Opening hours: All day, 24/7. Closed: Never. Admission: Free. The archeological remains below the church cannot be visited at the moment (January 2018).
History and description
Saint Anastasia was crucified and died a martyr in Dalmatia in the year 304 (on December 25). According to one legend the church is built on top of the ruins of her husband Publio‘s (who had left her a widow at a relatively young age) house.
The church was originally constructed towards the end of the 4th century, enlarged (by order of Pope Leo III) in the year 700 and reconstructed under Sixtus IV (1478).
Underneath the lower part of the Santa Anastasia Church the ruins of an insula, dating back to he times of the Roman Empire, can be found. An insula can be compared to a modern condominium.
The church has two bell towers. Its facade was designed by Luigi Amigucci and stems from the middle of the 17th century.
The interior is divided into three naves.
What to see
The statue below the altar is of Saint Anastasia herself, while the painting above it is by Domenichino and depicts Saint Jerome.
Cardinal Angelo Mai (1782-1854) is one of the people buried inside the church. He is famous for rescuing famous texts from oblivion by deciphering their palimpsests (manuscript documents from which the text has been removed in order to be able to reuse them). His tomb was made by the neoclassical sculptor Giovanni Maria Benzoni.
The ceiling fresco depicts the Martyrdom of Saint Anastasia and was painted by Michelangelo Cerruti. Cerruti (1663-1748) was probably born in Rome and studied under the master of perspective, Andrea Pozzo. His work can be admired in several famous churches, including San Pietro in Montorio, Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.