"Borgo Santo Spirito, Borgo, Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011
Borgo derives from a word of Germanic origin "burg", which means "little inhabited center". This term was given to a block of buildings and streets around St Peter's, grown up here in 6th century and enlarged starting from the 8th century by colonies of foreigners, houses and hospices for pilgrims of any nationality, monasteries and other religious organizations. So all this zone was leading religious life and was not defended. In 846 Saracens sacked St Peter's and Borghi, in 847 the fire devastated the school of Saxons.
According to the popular belief pope Leo IV stopped the fire with the sign of cross made by his hand. After this terrible lesson the same pope decided to build fortified town-walls to protect St Peter's and Borghi. For this goal all the public property of the Church was used. Its construction was finished in 852, thus the little "city inside of the city" was created, located on the vast territory between St Peter's, Castel S.Angelo and right bank of the river Tiber.
In 15th century to the old Borghi (Borgo Santo Spirito and Borgo Vecchio) were added two new ones: Borgo Nuovo and Borgo Sant'Angelo. The papal government developed the idea of inhabitation of "Borgo" after sack of 1527 and was giving economical privileges to those who went to live close to the basilica. In 1550 Julius II established in Borgo its proper independent government and administration, prison and military garrison. Only in 1586 in terms of administrative reorganization promoted by Sixtus V, "Borgo" was included in Rome's life and became its 14th district (this fact explains why in 1870 borghians expressed their strong desire not to be separated from Rome when governors of the city were speaking about giving this district under papal rule). Later on were added another two streets out of the Leo's walls: Borgo Pio and Borgo Vittorio. In its aspect "Borgo" was untouched till 1936, when via della Conciliazione was traced and the buildings forming Borgo Vecchio and Borgo Nuovo were destroyed .
Borgo Santo Spirito takes its name after the Hospital Santo Spirito located here. It is the one among the other 5 Borghi, which conserved the atmosphere of "the street leading to St Peter's".
Borgo Santo Spirito (Borgo S.Spirito)
Borgo Santo Spirito, 1-2, Borgo,
00193 Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Borgo (Castel Sant'Angelo) (Roma centro)
Borgo Santo Spirito is Shown By "Map D Zone" As "22"
Subway: Ottaviano (1.0 km N), Metro A,
Bus: 23, 34, 40, 46, 62, 64, 98, 280, 870, 881
Complesso monumentale Santo Spirito in Sassia
Opening times: Visit only on Monday at 10am and 3.30pm., Groups must book by fax 06.6893072, days and times to be agreed.
Telephone: 0039 06 68210854 - 68352433
Fax: 0039 06 6893072
Web site: www.giubilarte.it