Church of San Saba

"Church of San Saba" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 3rd July 2011

According to a legend the Chiesa di San Saba (Chiesa di S.Saba) grew on the site of cenoby in which the mother of St Gregory I Magno, St Silvia, lived and from where she would daily send to her son living on Celio Hill, the vegetable dishes picked and prepared by herself. But according to historical and archeological proves the church was founded in the 7th century by oriental monks followers of St Saba, desired to reconstruct on the new site their convent in Jerusalem, which was founded by St Saba in the 5th century and destroyed by Arabs.

Church of San Saba at Piazza Gian Lorenzo Bernini
The monks had founded the other monasteries in Rome and built an oratory here, which in the 10th century was transformed in a church by monks Benedictines, who in that epoch substituted the monks from Jerusalem; in the 12th century Benedictines were replaces by another religious order. The latter restored the construction, decorated it with the marbles. In 1453 by the order of cardinal Francesco Piccolomini an ample loggia over the portico was built. The portico on pilasters is very rich with the ancient sarcophaguses and other archeological material.

The beautiful doorway (1205) is by Giacomo, father of Cosma, the founder of the famous dynasty of marble-mosaic-makers "Cosmati". The bell-tower on the left of the facade is nearly visible because it is only a part of the original campanile, destroyed centuries ago.
upper facade of Church of San Saba
The building’s façade dates back to the Romanesque period just like the opposite porch, underneath which a sarcophagus and diverse other ruins are treasured, while the elegant gallery, with arches on granite columns, dates back to 1400. The interior has three naves, divided up by fourteen antique columns with various capitals, and is rich of remaining of paintings dated C.XIII that still treasure the original splendor.
inside interior of Church of San Saba
Interior is on a basilican plan with a nave separated from the aisles by 14 columns. The nave is covered by beautiful Cosmatesque decorations. To them is also attributed schola cantorum, found during the excavations of 1909. On the left could be found so called "3rd aisle", which must have been a hall of the adjoining convent; it contains the frescoes of the 13th century. The central apse was probably decorated by mosaics, but they were lost and substituted with the simple frescoes in 1575. The presbytery preserves a marble cathedra with a beautiful Cosmatesque tondo, and a ciborium composed of four marble columns and octagonal cover. The ancient oratory contains the fragments of the 9th-10th century paintings.

Church of San Saba
Piazza Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 20
00153, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione San Saba (Piramide) (Roma centro)
Church of San Saba is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "55"
Hours: Weekdays: 8.00am-12.00am 4.00pm-7.10pm. Holidays: 9.30am-1.00pm 4.00pm-7.30pm. Mass times: Holidays: 10:30 12:00 18:30. Weekdays: 9:00 18:30. The celebration of St. Harvest is suspended in August. During the celebration of Holy Mass is not possible to visit the church.
Telephone: 0039 06 64580140
Fax: 0039 06 64580133
Email: ,

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