Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano

(Click on any photo to see a larger version)

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Nave, Apse, counterfacade
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Left side chapels
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Right side chapels
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The Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary at the Trajan Forum is an 18th century confraternity and titular church, the larger one of the two familiar domed landmark churches at the north end of the Imperial Fora, just by Trajan's Column. It is one of the two so-called "sister churches" of the Roman Forum together with the nearby St. Maria di Loreto.

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


The feast of the Holy Name of Mary was introduced by Pope Innocent XI after the victory of the Austrian-Polish armies under the command of John III Sobieski over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Abbot Giuseppe Bianchi instituted a cult of the Most Holy Name in 1685 at Santo Stefano del Cacco, and soon afterwards established the Congregation of the Most Holy Name of Mary, which was formally approved in 1688.

In 1694 they moved to an older church named San Bernardo a Colonna Traiani. The next year, realizing that there was a need to build a new church, they acquired the adjacent plot near the column of Trajan and had Santissimo Nome di Maria built between 1736-1741 by the French architect Antoine Dèrizet. Seven years after Santissimo Nome's completion, San Bernardo was demolished, though the icon of Mary was transferred from it to Nome di Maria in 1741 and is solemnly processed from the site of San Bernardo to its present place above Santissimo Nome's high altar once a year.

Related Links: Roman Churches Wiki

Location: 41° 53' 46" N, 12° 29' 3" E

Additional information and description

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