Church/ Chiesa dei SS.Apostoli (Basilica dei Santi Apostoli)

"Church/ Chiesa dei SS.Apostoli (Basilica dei Santi Apostoli)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 4th May 2011

Church/ Chiesa dei SS.Apostoli (Basilica dei Santi Apostoli)

It was built in 560 by Pelagius I to commemorate the defeat and expulsion of the Goths by the Byzantine army, and dedicated to the Apostles James and Philip. After numerous restorations it was totally reconstructed under Martin V, Sixtus IV and Pius IX with the intervention of F.Fontana in 1702-1708 and C.Fontana in 1714. The facade is by G.Valadier with double loggia of nine arches, the portico is by B.Pontelli (15th century); in the 17th century C.Rainaldi added a balustrade and statues of Apostles and Christ. Beside it is a bell-tower.

The vast interior is 63m long and has a vault frescoed by Baciccia with "Triumph of the Order of St Francis". The aisles are divided from the nave by double Corinthian pilasters; and each of the six side chapels has a dome. On the high altar is the largest altarpiece in Rome by Domenico Muratori (1715) representing "Martyrdom of St Philip and St James"; the confessio is by Luca Carimini (1879) and preserves the relics of the two Apostles. Among the burial monuments is the one of Clement XIV, the first Roman work by A.Canova, of cardinal Pietro Riario by A.Bregno, M.da Fiesole and G.Dalmata; other tombs by A.Bregno, a tomb of Clementina Sobeiski by F.Della Valle (1737). The sacristy preserves beautiful wardrobes by F.Fontana (1693) and a painting by S.Ricci "Ascenzione" (1701).
Church/ Chiesa dei SS.Apostoli (Basilica dei Santi Apostoli), Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, Rome
The two Renaissance cloisters contain a bas-relief of the Nativity by the school of A.di Cambio, an early Christian sarcophagus and, in the second cloister, a memorial to Michelangelo, whose body was temporarily placed here in 1564 before his burial in S.Croce in Florence. The interior, divided into three wide naves by big pilasters and matching Corinthian pilaster strips, with three chapels per side, each one roofed by a dome, ends up being splendid for the decorations and frescoes: among the others, one can admire si possono sculptures by Canova. Surrounding the basilica are two imposing baroque palazzi : at the end of the square, Palazzo Balestra, which was given to James Stuart, the Old Pretender, in 1719 by Pope Clement XI, and opposite, Palazzo Odelscalchi, with its impressive Bernini façade.

This basilica does feature some impressive paintings, but the real draw here is the indoor piazza and two lovely open-air courtyards. You’ll have the area almost to yourself—it’s perfect for a quiet afternoon stroll. The corridors sometimes play host to small art exhibitions and other events. Also on display is a large marble relief commemorating Michelangelo.

Church/ Chiesa dei SS.Apostoli (Basilica dei Santi Apostoli)
Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 51
00187, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trevi (Quirinale-Tritone-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Church/ Chiesa dei SS.Apostoli (Basilica dei Santi Apostoli) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "107"
Bus: 40, 60, 61, 70, 117, 170, H
Hours: Open 07:00am-12:00pm 04:00pm-07:10pm. Masses: Weekdays:07:30am-08:00am-09:00am-06:30pm, Holidays: 07:30am-09:00am - 10:30am-12:00pm-06:30pm. Days before a holiday:06:30pm.
Telephone: 0039 06 699571
Fax: 0039 06 69957321

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