The church of Santa Maria in Aquiro is located in the Piazza Capranica in the center of Rome. Almost nothing remains of the original 5th century construction.
Santa Maria in Aquiro Church Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
The address of the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Aquiro is Piazza Capranica, 72 – Rome (tel. +39 066790410). Opening hours: 7.15 AM to 12.00 noon and 4 PM to 7.30 PM in winter and 7.30 to 11.30 AM and 4.45 to 17.45 PM in summer. Admission is free.
History and description
The first church in this site was built in the 5th century, by Anastasius I. Construction was financed by a man named Cyrus. The church came to be named “a Cyro” (built by Cyrus), which was gradually changed into “Aquiro”.
(Another interpretation of the name claims that it originates from the word equira, meaning “horse race”. These races were held in nearby Campo Marzio.)
For a while the church was known as the “Church of the Little Orphans” (Chiesa degli Orfanelli). The building on its right was the seat of the Collegio Salviati, an institution that took care of the education of orphans.
The first restoration of the Santa Maria in Aquiro Church took place in the 8th century, under Pope Gregorius III.
In the 16th century Cardinal Antonio Maria Salviati commissioned Francesco da Volterra to paint a number of paintings for the decoration of the interior.
The church was completely rebuilt between 1590 and 1774, the year Pietro Camporese completed the façade as it can now be seen.
In 1886 the interior was redesigned.
Main works of art
Trophime Bigot was one of Caravaggio‘s pupils. He is thought to have painted the “Flagellation of Christ” and the “Crowning with the Crown of Thorns”.
Domenico Guidi made the monument for the archbishop Carlo di Montecantini, one of several baroque-style tombs in the church.
The “Madonna with Child and Saint Stephen” fresco was painted in te 14th century.
Carlo Saraceni painted the fresco-cycle “Life of the Virgin”.