Churches of Rome

Tourist information on the churches of Rome that include tourist information on important churches including works of art housed inside them as well as thier locations in modern day Rome.

The city of Rome probably possesses more churches than any other city in the world. Some argue as many as a thousand churches can be found within the city. While most visitors dwell on the magnificence of St. Peter's or the fine baroque churches of Borromini and Bernini, this page contains information on some of the less frequented churches in Rome.

The Anglican church of All Saints, is a superb example of Gothic revival and a defiant declaration of Anglicanism, designed by the great George Edmund Street and built between 1882 and 1887.

He stretched the use of traditional materials and artisan skills in this creation, and the resulting facade of sienese brick and travertine decorations, and the interior, also of brick with colored stones and marbles and wooden ceiling is in all quite uplifting.

The church of S. Anastasia dates back to the original Titulus Anastasiae, created by Anastasia - possibly a member of the Constantine's family - and later dedicated to the martyred saint of the same name. For some time it was the imperial parish church, due to its aristocratic founder and close location to the Palatine.

It was at S. Anastasia that the popes celebrated at dawn the second of the three Christmas masses, and it still holds a very special place in the Christmas celebration of the Roman church, 25 December being the saints feast day and anniversary of her martyrdom. The church was restored in the eight, ninth, thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. But, it is still possible to see the remains of the insula of the first century church in the vaults beneath the church.

The church of S. Francesca Romana, has origins dating back to the 8th century oratory dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul, erected in honor of a miracle related in the apocryphal "Acts of Peter". According to this legend, Simon Magus met St's Peter and Paul in Rome in the reign of Nero and challenged them to a competition in levitation in the Forum.

By his magic arts Simon did indeed succeed in flying up into the sky, but crashed to earth and was killed as a result of the prayers of the two apostles that his chicanery might be revealed. This oratory contained, as the church still does, two stones said to bear the impress of the knees of the apostles as they prayed.

The German national church of S. Maria dell 'Anima boasts a fine Renaissance facade attributed to Guiliano da Sangallo, while the campanile might be the work of Bramante. The three portals and the figures of the virgin and the two redeemed souls ( soul in Italian is Anima), from which the church derives its name, may be the work of Andrea Sansovino.

There are numerous important churches located outside the medieval walls of Rome, away from the historical centre of the city. The Basilica of S. Agnese fuori le Mura, has been an important place of pilgrimage since the first half of the 4th century.

The year 304 is believed to be the date of St. Agnes's martyrdom, and she was later buried at this church. The famous episode of her loosened hair covering her nakedness is mentioned in the inscription which St. Damascus had put over her grave; this was discovered in 1728, and is still preserved on the stairs leading down to the basilica.

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