The Santi Quirico e Giulitta Church in Rome is located opposite the Forum of Nerva. It is the only church in this part of the city that was not razed to the ground by Mussolini during the construction of the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
Santi Quirico e Giulitta Church Rome
The address of the church is Via Tor de Conti, 31/A – Rome (tel. 066789263). Metro: Colosseo. Bus: 60, 75, 84, 85, 117, 175, 186, 271, 571, 810, 850. Opening hours are from 08:30 to 12:00 and from 17:00 to 20:00.
History and description
In the area where the church is located, Christian churches were not built until late (in the 6th century) because of the proximity of ancient, monumental, pagan Rome and the opposition of the aristocracy living there. Except for the San Quirico e Giulietta, these churches were all demolished in the 1930s to make way for the newly constructed Via dei Fori Imperiali (then called the Via dell’Impero).
Until 1584, the façade was on the other side. The church was also a lot lower than it is now: since the Tiber often flooded and the humidity was very high, Pope Paul V had the foundation of Santi Quirico e Giulitta raised by 4 meters.
In the Middle Ages, several descendants of aristocratic Roman families were buried in the church. It was also originally dedicated to Saints Stefano and Lorenzo.
The Saints Quirico and his mother Giulitta found martyrdom in the 4th century under Emperor Diocleziano. Quirico was only three years old at the time.
What to see
The Romanesque bell tower dates back to the 12th century. A second campanile is now incorporated in the adjacent building, a former convent converted into the Hotel Forum.
The current façade was designed by Filippo Raguzzini, who worked on it from 1728 to 1735, having been commissioned by the Domenicans, who had been given control of the church in 1722. However, the portal dates back to the 15th century and is the work of Baccio Pontelli.
Ruins of the original 6th century church are visible below the present construction.
The ceiling paintings in the nave (“Glory of Saints Quirico and Giulitta”) and in the apse were painted by Pietro Gagliardi in 1856.
In the presbytery there is a 17th century altar with an altarpiece with a painting in the middle representing “The Martyrdom of Saints Quirico and Giulitta”.
Museum of Nativity Scenes
There is a small museum (Museo del Presepe “Angelo Stefanucci”) in some rooms under the church. the collection consists of nativity scenes from different eras and places. This museum, which has existed since 1967, is open every Wednesday and Saturday, from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Admission is free. (Tel. +39 06 6796146.)