"Church and Museum of Santa Sabina all'Aventino" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 26th June 2011
This is a perfect example of the 5th century basilica, a venerated and admirable model of primitive and pure conception of a Christian temple. The church was built in 425 by a priest from Dalmatia Pietro d'Illiria under the pope Celestine I, probably on the site of the house of the Roman matron Sabina, later confused with St.Sabina from Umbria. It was restored in 824 and 1216. In 1219 Honorius III, who was living in adjoining Castle of Savelli, gave the church to St Dominic for his new order.
The cloister and a bell tower were built in the 13th century. In 1587 D.Fontana transformed the interior aspect of the church giving it a mannerist-baroque look.
After the monasteries were closed in 1870 the period of abandoned came, while the church and its monastery were used as a hospital. Antonio Munoz in 1919-1938 tried to return the church its original aspect. In the hall of the church grows a famous Orange tree which was, according to a legend, brought from Spain and planted by the founder of Dominican order S.Domenico di Guzman (1170-1221) in 1220. It was the first plant of this kind introduced in Rome. The cell he lived in is now turned into a chapel. The modern monastery hosts the General seat of Dominican order.
The middel portal of the church, which has a nice Classical marble frame, is closed by precious wings made of cypress wood, reproducing scenes from the Antico and the Nuovo Testamento in relief. The interior, basilical, bright, wide and solemn, is divided up by three naves by twentyfour corinthian fluted columns. From the original decoration dated C. V one only finds a big mosaic strip with an inscription with nice golden letters on a light blue background, which bears the names of Pietro di Illiria and the Pope of that time, Celestino I.
The 5th century entrance door has 18 remarkable wooden panels (pictured below) carved with the scriptural scenes; they include one of the oldest representations of the Crucifixion in existence.
The beautifully proportioned classical interior is on basilica plan with three naves. There is only one section remained after mosaics decorations on the walls. The wide and tall nave is divided from the aisles by 24 Corinthian columns from the Temple of Juno Queen. The spandrels of the arcades are decorated with a splendid 5th century marble inlay. The light enters the church through the 34 beautiful large windows. In the middle of the central nave there is a tombstone of Munoz de Zamora died in 1300, the general of Dominicans.
The other funeral monuments located in church were executed in the 15th-18th century. The baroque D'Elci Chapel, one of the two survived examples of baroque transformation of the church, contains over its altar the "Madonna del Rosario" with Saints Dominic and Catherine by Sassoferrato. It is the only church that had the priviledge to own a baptismal spring.
The museum is housed in the dormitory of the medieval monastery of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill (Aventino), and tells, through the architectural - the early Christian arches and the striking window of St. Dominic - and works of art, the history of the Order of Preachers, the convent and Basilica of Santa Sabina.
Among the masterpieces on display there are a thirteenth-century sculpture attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, a board of St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Antoniazzo, Our Lady of the Rosary of Sassoferrato, as well as some important seventeenth-century novel. The museum is in addition to the already rich itinerary consists of the early Christian basilica, with the mural of the seventh / eighth century, recently recovered from archaeological excavations, from the thirteenth century and the Cloister of San Domenico Bernini's cell with frescoes attributed to Ludovico Gimignani.
Church and Museum of Santa Sabina all'Aventino
Piazza Pietro d'Illiria, 1
00153 , Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: RRione Ripa (Circo Massimo-Bocca Verità-Aventino) (Roma centro)
Church and Museum of Santa Sabina all'Aventino is Shown By "Map J Zone" As "41"
Contact - Santa Sabina Church (Chiesa di S.Sabina)
Hours: Open 08:15am-12:30pm 03:30pm-06:00pm. Masses: Holidays: 08:00am-10:30am-11:30am. Weekdays: 07:15am. During the mass it is not possible to visit the church.
Telephone: +39 06 579401 - 06 57940600
Fax: 0039 06 5750675
Contact - Dominican Museum of Santa Sabina on the Aventine (Museo Domenicano di Santa Sabina all'Aventino)
At the Basilica of Santa Sabina
Telephone: 327 9758869 (Ass. Cult. Circuito Aperto)
Fax: 06 233201181 (Ass. Cult. Circuito Aperto)