Santo Spirito in Sassia Church Rome
Address, hours admission
The Chiesa di Santo Spirito in Sassia is located at the corner of Borgo Santo Spirito and Via dei Penitenzieri. The official address is Via dei Penitenzieri, 12 – Roma. Tel. +39 066879310. Opening hours: From 07:30 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:30. Sunday opening hours: From 09:30 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:30. Entrance fee: Free of charge. (During mass, the church may not be visited).
History and Description
The history of the Santo Spirito in Saxia Church started in 727, when King Ina of Wessex, who wanted to live in penitence and be buried near the St. Peter’s tomb, moved to Rome. Like the adjacent Palazzo del Commendatore, the church needed to be completely rebuilt after the Sack of Rome in 1527.
The church, formerly called Santa Maria in Saxia, also received its current name at that time.
The architect was Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane. Its construction, except for the facade, was completed in 1544.
Ottaviano Mascherino was to finish this façade many years later, in 1590. It is preceded by a beautiful staircase and consists of two levels, the lower one having six and the upper one four pillars. The lower part has four niches, the upper only two. Above an oculus, the coat of arms of Sixtus V can be seen. The dove gracing the pediment personifies the Holy Spirit.
The bell tower was made in the 15th century by Baccio Pontelli. The largest of the five bells weighs three tons. Because of the danger of collapse, the bells are no longer rung the old-fashioned way, but through a system of mechanical mallets. Some of the windows on the lower floor of the tower are bricked up. The windows of the upper floor biforas are separated by marble columns.
The interior consists of a single nave with five chapels on either side and a large apse. In the arch that frames the biforas is a round opening that probably used to contain a ceramic decoration in the past.
On the roof is a cast-iron cross with double horizontal arms, another symbol of the Holy Spirit.