Church of Santa Maria in Domnica & Navicella (small ship) Fountain

"Church of Santa Maria in Domnica & Navicella (small ship) Fountain" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 6th July 2011

The Church of Santa Maria in Domnica (also known as Santa Maria alla Navicella) grew from an oratory of ancient diacony, i.e. center of religious and public assistance, which was built over another public construction that might had been the military barracks. The church was mentioned for the first time in the end of the 8th century. Only two important restoration and reconstruction works of the church took place, under St Pascal I in the beginning of the 9th century and under future Leo X in the beginning of the 16th century (by Sansovino).

Church of Santa Maria in Domnica alla Navicella
The portico bases on pilasters; the facade has a big round window with two other windows by its sides. The attribute "alla Navicella" means "near the little ship", and refers to the Roman ship sculpture that has been in front of the church for a long time, and Leo X had turned into a fountain.

The simple Renaissance façade is preceded by an elegant and wide porch, with five arcades and pilaster strips, Dorian and inspired by Bramante’s works, built by Andrea Sansovino (1513). The basilical interior is divided into three naves thanks to the succession of eighteen antique columns made of gray granite, with Corinthian marble capitals.

Interior is full of light and has a nave and two aisles divided by two rows of 18 granite columns. Over the windows is a frieze by Perin del Vaga from designs by G.Romano. On the triumphal arch, flanked by two porphyry columns, is a colored 9th century mosaic. The beautiful lacunar wooden ceiling is engraved and covered with the gold (1566); the apse conserved original splendid mosaic. The church contains also the works of art of modern artists.

Under the wooden panelled ceiling, decorated with the symbols of the Litanie of the Vergine, from 1566, runs a nice Renaissance frieze frescoed Perin del Vaga, on a drawing by Giulio Romano, bearing heraldic motifs from the Medici family. At the end of the main nave, one finds the marvelous mosaic of the time under Pope Pasquale I, like that portraying the Virgin from C. IX, surrounded by angels, which holds a tissue.

Navicella (small ship) Fountain/ Fontana della Navicella

The fountain in front of Chiesa di S.Maria in Domnica, Fontana della Navicella/ Fountain of Navicella (small ship) on the Caelius Mountain, is a mini-reproduction in marble (1513) of a real ancient boat which was probably a votive offering from the Castra Peregrina, a camp for non-Italian soldiers, situated between Via Santo Stefano and Via Navicella.
Fontana della Navicella or Fountain of Navicella (small ship).
Probably designed by Andrea Sansovino, the navicella replaced amarble ship (perhaps an ex voto (votive offering) of the Roman age dedicated to the goddess Isis by sailors lodged in the nearby castra peregrina) that was already documented by fifteenth century sources.The monument presents a coat of arms of the Medici family. In 1931 the statue was incorporated into a fountain in contest of enlarging of the street and rearrangement of the zone.

Church of Santa Maria in Domnica & Navicella (small ship) Fountain
Via della Navicella, 10
00184, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
Church of Santa Maria in Domnica & Navicella (small ship) Fountain is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "79"
Church Hour: Open 09:00am-12:00pm, 03:30pm-06:00pm. Mass times: Holidays :10:00-12 :00-17: 30, Weekdays: 17:30, Holiday: 17:30, During the celebration of Holy Mass is not possible to visit the church.
Telephone: 0039 06 77202685
Fax: 0039 06 77202685

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