The Santa Maria in Traspontina Church is a Carmelite Church in the Via della Conciliazione at a short distance from Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Santa Maria in Traspontina Church Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
The address of the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Traspontina is Via della Conciliazione 34 – Rome (tel. +39 0668806451). Rione: Borgo. Opening hours: From 06.30 till 12.00 and from 16.00 till 19.15 uur. Sundays from 07.30 till 13.00. Admission is free.
Thee Santa Maria in Traspontina Kerk is for an ancient bridge over the Tiber, which in 1560 was destroyed by order of Pope Pius IV. Trans pontem is Latin for “over the bridge”.
The church was built between 1566 and 1637. The original architect was Giovanni Sallustio Peruzzi (son of the much more famous Baldassare Peruzzi). Construction was completed by, first, Ottaviano Mascherino, and later, Francesco Paparelli.
There used to be covered footpath between the church, through a number of gardens, and Saint Peter’s Square. This path was destroyed when Mussolini had the Via della Conciliazione constructed.
Before the church was built a Roman pyramid stood in the same spot. It was called Meta Romuli, because during the Middle Ages it was thought to be Romulus‘ tomb. The pyramid was destroyed in the year 1500, when the Jubilee took place. Pope Alexander VI Borgia reorganized the district and had a new street called Via Alexandrina built. This street is now called Borgo Nuovo.
The Santa Maria in Traspontina Church is extremely low. Since the cannons of the Castel Sant’Angelo were pointed at the rione Borgo, their reach was not be obstructed by the church. When Mannarino designed the church he omitted the drum, so that there would not be any obstacles.
A number of pillars divide the façade into five parts. There are smaller entrances, flanked by niches, on both sides of the main portal. The upper part of the facade has three windows, two of which are blind.
The tympanum above the main door contains a statue of the “Madonna and Child”.
The Campanile is only visible from the Vicolo del Campanile.
The floor plan is that of a Latin cross. There are five chapels on each side.
The main altar was designed by Carlo Fontana. Its main attribute is an “Icon of the Virgin”, brought from the Holy Land to Rome in 1216 by the Carmelite Order.
The Santa Barbara Chapel has a number of military decorations, Santa Barbara herself being the patron saint of the artillery.
The third chapel on the right allegedly contains the two columns the Saints Peter and Paul were tied to before being tortured.