Rome - Santa Maria sopra Minerva
Santa Maria sopra Minerva (English: Saint Mary above Minerva, Latin: Sancta Maria supra Minervam) is one of the major churches of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans. The church's name derives from the fact that the first Christian church structure on the site was built directly over (Latin: supra) the ruins or foundations of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, which had been erroneously ascribed to the Greco-Roman goddess Minerva.
The church is located in the Piazza della Minerva one block behind the Pantheon in the Pigna rione of Rome, Italy, within the ancient district known as the Campus Martius. The present church and disposition of surrounding structures is visible a detail from the Nolli Map of 1748.
The Minerva has been a titular church since 1557 and a minor basilica since 1566. The church's first titular cardinal was Michele Ghislieri who would become Pope Pius V in 1566 and raise the church to the level of minor basilica that same year.
The church and adjoining convent served at various times throughout its history as the Dominican Order's headquarters. Today the headquarters have been re-established in their original location at the Roman convent of Santa Sabina.
While many other medieval churches in Rome have been given Baroque makeovers that cover Gothic structures, the Minerva is the only extant example of original Gothic church building in Rome. Behind a restrained Renaissance style façade] the Gothic interior features arched vaulting that was painted blue with gilded stars and trimmed with brilliant red ribbing in a 19th-century Neo-Gothic restoration.
Among several important works of art in the church are Michelangelo's statue Cristo della Minerva (1521) and the late 15th-century (1488–1493) cycle of frescos in the Carafa Chapel by Filippino Lippi. The basilica also houses many funerary monuments including the tombs of Doctor of the Church Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), who was a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, and the Dominican friar Blessed John of Fiesole (Fra Giovanni da Fiesole, born Guido di Piero) better known as Fra Angelico (c. 1395-1455).
In Roman times there were three temples in what is now the area surrounding the basilica and former convent buildings: the Minervium, built by Gnaeus Pompey in honour of the goddess Minerva about 50 BC, referred to as Delubrum Minervae; the Iseum dedicated to Isis, and the Serapeum dedicated to Serapis. Details of the temple to Minerva are not known but recent investigations indicate that a small round Minervium once stood a little further to east on the Piazza of the Collegio Romano. In 1665 an Egyptian obelisk was found, buried in the garden of the Dominican cloister adjacent to the church. Several other small obelisks were found at different times near the church, known as the Obelisci Isei Campensis, which were probably brought to Rome during the 1st century and grouped in pairs, with others, at the entrances of the temple of Isis. There are other Roman survivals in the crypt.
The ruined temple is likely to have lasted until the reign of Pope Zachary (741-752), who finally Christianized the site, offering it to Basilian nuns from Constantinople who maintained an oratorio there dedicated to the "Virgin of Minervum.". The structure he commissioned has disappeared.
In 1255 Pope Alexander IV established a community of converted women on the site. A decade later this community was transferred to the Roman Church of San Pancrazio thereby allowing the Dominicans to establish a convent of friars and a studium conventuale there. The Friars were on site beginning in 1266 but took official possession of the Church in 1275. Aldobrandino Cavalcanti (+1279), “vicarius Urbis” or vicar for Pope Gregory X, and an associate of Thomas Aquinas ratified the donation of Santa Maria sopra Minerva to the Dominicans of Santa Sabina by the sisters of S. Maria in Campo Marzio. The ensemble of buildings that formed around the church and convent came to be known as the 'insula sapientae" or "insula dominicana' (island of wisdom or Dominican island). The Dominicans began building the present Gothic church in 1280 modelling it on their church in Florence Santa Maria Novella. Architectural plans were probably drawn up during the pontificate of Nicholas III by two Dominican friars, Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Campi. With the help of funds contributed by Boniface VIII and the faithful the side aisles were completed in the 14th century.
In 1453 church interior construction was finally completed when Cardinal Juan Torquemada ordered that the main nave be covered by a vault that reduced the overall projected height of the church. In the same year of 1453 Count Francesco Orsini sponsored the construction of the façade at his own expense. However work on the façade remained incomplete until 1725 when it was finally finished by order of Pope Benedict XIII. The sacristy of the Church was the site of two Papal conclaves. The first, held in the March 1431, elected Pope Eugene IV, the second, in March 1447, Pope Nicholas V.
In the 16th century Giuliano da Sangallo made changes in the choir area and in 1600 Carlo Maderno enlarged the apse, added Baroque decorations and created the present façade with its pilastered tripartite division in Renaissance style.
Marks on this façade dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries indicate various flood levels of the Tiber 65 feet (20 metres).
Between 1848 and 1855 Girolamo Bianchedi directed an important program of restoration when most of the Baroque additions were removed and the blank walls were covered with neo-gothic frescos giving the interior the Neo-Gothic appearance that it has today.
The basilica's stained glass windows are mostly from the 19th century.
In 1909 the great organ was constructed by the renowned firm of Carlo Vegezzi Bossi. The organ was restored in 1999.
Critiques | Translate
besnard (52809) 2014-04-08 8:21
Tu as su jouer de façon parfaite avec l'ombre et la lumière.
Bravo et bonne fin de journée.
Kamilutka (8095) 2014-04-08 8:23
well captured scene from inside the church. The statue has been placed in very good position which allows also to see the church's interior. Very good light management and the candles in the foreground help to create very special character of the picture.
Thanks for sharing
tyro (19698) 2014-04-08 8:48
I love all of your photographs but your photographs of the interiors of ecclesiastical building like this are simply stunning. You have a wonderful way of catching the light and lovely soft colours so perfectly!
This, again, is a wonderfully composed shot and you have made excellent use of both the natural daylight coming in fom the right and the warm candlelight in the foreground to produce a wonderfully mystical and soft atmosphere. The light, colours and contrasts are divine and we can see full detail not only in the deepest shadows but also in the brightest parts of the image too. Perfect exposure and stunning sharpness.
clic (14712) 2014-04-08 8:56
You show the best of a consecrated treasure by the rules book because the overall depiction is masterfully captured, without any overexposure that could distract from the introspection mood.
The essence of sublimity and mastery is seen here.
I'll be off-line for a whole week.
jurek1951 (41169) 2014-04-08 9:28
a beautiful interior photo with very nice composition and very nice details, superb sharpness,
ChrisJ (95678) 2014-04-08 10:05
I like the repetition of the bg triple arches and the fg candles that imbibe a warm ambiance. Good saturation and diffused light although sharpness could be increases slightly. Excellent shadow detail and the Madonna and child statue at left makes a fine focal point. Tfs!
Silvio1953 (119401) 2014-04-08 10:32
Ciao Romano, bel dettaglio della più favolosa chiesa gotica di Roma, una delle mie preferite, ottima esposizione per una gran gestione di una luce non facile, bravo, ciao Silvio
Noel_Byrne (22647) 2014-04-08 11:36
Anche se questa è una statua, l'idea mi ricorda bene del tuo ultimo post del disegno ragazza, così insieme queste due immagini si completano a vicenda bene. Questo ancora una volta ha il vantaggio di composizione eccellente e statue lightThe celesti sia di Madonna e il bambino sembrano guardare direttamente a me, che mi invita a esplorare ulteriormente all'interno della scena.
Come sempre, grazie per la condivisione
I migliori auguri
carlo62 (30383) 2014-04-08 14:14
bella inquadratura, sei partito dalle candele per finire con lo splendido soffitto affrescato, nonostante le difficoltà di luce, lo scatto è eccellente.
Molti i particolari da osservare con piacere.
lousat (74839) 2014-04-08 14:33
Ciao Romano,le foto nelle chiese sono giochi che spesso non valgono la candela,molto difficili da fare e da scegliere riguardo alla prospettiva,la tua si fa' apprezzare per l'originalita' della composizione,lontano dai classici schemi simmetrici e per l'ottima esposizione,bel colpo! Buona giornata e complimenti,Luciano
Royaldevon (28285) 2014-04-09 2:18
Ciao Caro Romano,
These difficult, internal photographs have wonderful mood and great quality. Your compositional skills are in doubt as we look at the positioning of the Madonna, the candles and the archway.
Thank you for sharing this.
Have a lovely day,
irek1 (847) 2014-04-09 7:07
Interior of the church has a unique chraracter. We can find many important details between lights and shadows, that create atmosphere of that place. Candles, sacral furnitures, gate and paintings and the statue are very interesting.
Churches in Italy are one of the greatest in the world.
Nicou (119245) 2014-04-09 7:11
Avec les bougies et les flammes de l'espoir quelle vue et la vierge et le très long chapelet quelle belle statue et vue sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié
Graal (96348) 2014-04-09 8:14
very nice interior of church. I like the detals, images and sculpture. Good composition. Interesting note.
Have a nice evening.
elenimavrandoni (14241) 2014-04-09 10:18
le riprese interne sono sempre difficili e ammiro la tua capacità di presentare loro sempre nel modo più bello
approfittando della luce soffusa e le ombre e creare una magnifica composizione
la nota è più che informativo e il tuo lavoro è da lodare..
un caro saluto
siudzi (32949) 2014-04-09 12:33
Another beautiful scene taken inside the church. The sculpture and the church itself are absolutely wonderful with an impressive number of unique decorations, paintings, arts. Like this place a lot! Great to see a shot from it. Thanks for sharing!
timecapturer (47284) 2014-04-10 5:19
a delicate and irresistible shot this. I love the POV and the play of lights in this exquisite and beautiful image. It is stunning!
delpeoples (52897) 2014-04-10 16:01
Ricordo bene questa bellissima chiesa, infatti, l'ho visto con i nostri Silvio1953, Clementi e Vinicio e devo dire che é un tesoro poco conosciuto. Anché in Thumbnail, la tua foto é inconfondabilmente "Roma". Bellissima la luce morbida, il gioco con penumbra e l'uso del taglio vertical. Complimenti e ti auguro una bellissima serata.
amaryllis (34138) 2014-04-11 9:06
je suis toujours beâte d'admiration devant cette Vierge et l'enfant et tous ces cierges brulant devant
De plus un bel intérieur d'église comme on peut l'apercevoir sur la droite
Je reviens de Poitiers et j'ai fait aussi la Vierge, tu verras
Merci de ce partage en ces moments de carême
abmdsudi (41936) 2014-04-12 5:49
A delicate indoor shot and really packed with lot of details, rich in colours, lovely shades and shadows. The juxtapositon and profound look show the immense devotion and serenity in a state of pure calmness and you somehow become part of it, and this is obviously caught at precise moment and so much peace reflected. A remarkable shot my friend. Congrats
mjw364 (7234) 2014-04-12 8:14
I like the composition here and the light is excellent. I like the way you have captured the detail of the statue and the detail through the arch showing good control of exposure.
Well done and have a good weekend.
SnapRJW (30629) 2014-04-13 0:45
Hello Romano - This is beautiful, I love the atmosphere of serenity and peace and your composition is rich and evocative. Very challenging light but I think you have managed it well with good balance and reality.
In two weeks time we will be in Italy, a pity we will not be in Rome as with your intimate knowledge of the city you would have been a great tour guide! maybe next time.
Have a good Sunday
COSTANTINO (53545) 2014-04-14 8:23
Hello my dear friend
I visited your gallery and I chose this shot
because of the holy days and coming of Easter
we need shots of this kind
thanks for sharing with us this composition
with the candles creating different feelings
and calm atmosphere
have a nice evening Costantino
Didi (55957) 2014-04-15 17:29
Very good lights control inside the church
The moment for taking this picture was very good
Fine sharp composition good frame quality
Tigerlily (3053) 2014-04-16 11:02
A wonderfully taken image.Beautiful light control and clarity. I know, it's not easy...very well done.
adores (35566) 2014-05-04 16:53
Another good shot of a church inside. The composition is very good but the light really makes the photo great. Not easy, as most part of the churches inside, but you managed very well.
tenretin (2408) 2014-05-11 2:41
A super clean and well composed shot. The colors are natural and without digital noise.
Regards.... "et bon week-end à vous"
- Copyright: Romano Lattanzi (Romano46) (16586)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-04-07
- Categories: Daily Life, Architecture, Artwork
- Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM
- Exposure: f/3.5, 1/25 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-08 8:07