Santa Maria del Popolo

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Nave and Apse:

<Left side aisle, chapels and monuments>

<Right side aisle, chapels and monuments>

Santa Maria del Popolo is a notable Augustinian church located in Rome. It stands to the north side of the Piazza del Popolo, one of the most famous squares of the city, between the ancient Porta Flaminia (one of the gates of the Aurelian Walls and the starting point of the Via Flaminia, the road to Ariminum (modern Rimini) and the most important route to the north of Ancient Rome) and the Pincio park.

For reference, a plan of the church is available here.


In 1099 a chapel was built by Pope Paschal II to Our Lady over Roman tombs of the the Domitii family. Tradition claims that Emperor Nero was buried on the slope of the Pincian hill by the piazza. Pope Paschal II had his remains disinterred and thrown into the Tiber at the request of those who lived in the area. The chapel was built were the grave had been.

Since the people of Rome funded the building, the chapel received the name del Popolo ("of the people"). Other sources state that the "popolo" nickname stems from the Latin word populus, meaning "poplar" and probably referring to a tree located nearby. The chapel became a church by will of Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241), and given to the Augustinians in the first half of 13th century, who held it until now.

Santa Maria del Popolo was reconstructed by Baccio Pontelli and Andrea Bregno in 1472-1477, commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV in association with the Lombards of Rome, making this one of the first examples of Italian Renaissance architecture.

In 1655-60 alterations to the façade and the interior were made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who was asked by Pope Alexander VII to update the Renaissance church to a more modern Baroque style. After Bernini's intervention, the church became a favourite site of burials of rich people of the city. Among the others, the banker Agostino Chigi and the Cardinal Savo Millini have their tombs here.

Related Links: from Wikipedia
Roman Churches Wiki
Photos from Flickr

Location: 41° 54' 41" N, 12° 28' 35"

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