Rome – Piazzale Caffarelli – Wiew of Santa Maria in Aracoeli and Vittoriano (HDR version)
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven (Latin: Basilica Sanctae Mariae de Ara coeli in Capitolio, Italian: Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli al Campidoglio) is a titular basilica in Rome, located on the highest summit of the Campidoglio. It is still the designated Church of the city council of Rome, which uses the ancient title of Senatus Populusque Romanus.
Originally the church was named Santa Maria in Capitolio, since it was sited on the Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio, in Italian) of Ancient Rome; by the 14th century it had been renamed. A medieval legend included in the mid-12th-century guide to Rome, Mirabilia Urbis Romae, claimed that the church was built over an Augustan Ara primogeniti Dei, in the place where the Tiburtine Sibyl prophesied to Augustus the coming of the Christ. "For this reason the figures of Augustus and of the Tiburtine sibyl are painted on either side of the arch above the high altar" (Lanciani chapter 1). A later legend substituted an apparition of the Virgin Mary. In the Middle Ages, condemned criminals were executed at the foot of the steps; there the self-proclaimed Tribune and reviver of the Roman Republic Cola di Rienzo met his death, near the spot where his statue commemorates him.
In The History of Money, Anthropologist Jack Weatherford goes into some detail about the church's previous incarnation as the temple of Juno Moneta—on the Arx—after whom Money is named.
According to Roman historians, in the fourth century B.C., the irritated honking of the sacred geese around Juno's temple on Capitoline Hill warned the people of an impending night attack by the Gauls, who were secretly scaling the walls of the citadel. From this event, the goddess acquired [the] surname-Juno Moneta, from Latin monere (to warn). . .As patroness of the state, Juno Moneta presided over various activities of the state, including the primary activity of issuing money.
. . . from Moneta came the modem English words mint and money and, ultimately, from the Latin word meaning warning.
Today, the site of the Temple of Juno Moneta, the source of the great stream of Roman currency, has given way to the ancient . . . brick church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Centuries ago, church architects incorporated the ruins of the ancient temple into the new building.
The church is also thought to have replaced the auguraculum, the seat of the augurs.
The foundation of the church was laid on the site of a Byzantine abbey mentioned in 574. Many buildings were built around the first church; in the upper part they gave rise to a cloister, while on the slopes of the hill a little quarter and a market grew up. Remains of these buildings - such as the little church of San Biagio del Mercato and the underlying "Insula Romana") - were discovered in the 1930s. At first the church followed the Greek rite, a sign of the power of the Byzantine exarch. Taken over by the papacy by the 9th century, the church was given first to the Benedictines, then, by papal bull to the Franciscans in 1249–1250; under the Franciscans it received its Romanesque-Gothic aspect. The arches that divide the nave from the aisles are supported on columns, no two precisely alike, scavenged from Roman ruins. During the Middle Ages, this church became the centre of the religious and civil life of the city. in particular during the republican experience of the 14th century, when Cola di Rienzo inaugurated the monumental stairway of 124 steps in front of the church, designed in 1348 by Simone Andreozzi, on the occasion of the Black Death.
In 1571, Santa Maria in Aracoeli hosted the celebrations honoring Marcantonio Colonna after the victorious Battle of Lepanto over the Turkish fleet. Marking this occasion, the compartmented ceiling was gilded and painted (finished 1575), to thank the Blessed Virgin for the victory. In 1797, with the Roman Republic, the basilica was deconsecrated and turned into a stable.
The original unfinished façade has lost the mosaics and subsequent frescoes that originally decorated it, save a mosaic in the tympanum of the main door, one of three doors that are later additions. The Gothic window is the main detail that tourists can see from the bottom of the stairs, but it is the sole truly Gothic detail of the church.
The church is built as a nave and two aisles that are divided by Roman columns, all different, taken from diverse antique monuments. Among its numerous treasures are Pinturicchio's 15th-century frescoes depicting the life of Saint Bernardino of Siena in the Bufalini Chapel, the first chapel on the right. Other features are the wooden ceiling, the inlaid cosmatesque floor, a Transfiguration painted on wood by Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta, the tombstone of Giovanni Crivelli by Donatello, the tomb of Cecchino Bracci, designed by his friend Michelangelo, and works by other artists like Pietro Cavallini (of his frescoes only one survives), Benozzo Gozzoli and Giulio Romano. It houses also a Madonna and a sepulchral monument by Arnolfo di Cambio in the transept.
The church was also famous in Rome for the wooden statue of the infant Jesus (Santo Bambino), carved in the 15th century of olive wood coming from the Gethsemane garden and covered with valuable ex-votos. Many people of Rome believed in the power of this statue. The statue was stolen in February 1994, and never recovered Nowadays, a copy is present in the church. It is housed in its own chapel by the sacristy. At midnight Mass on Christmas Eve the image is brought out to a throne before the high altar and unveiled at the Gloria. Until Epiphany the jewel-encrusted image resides in the Nativity crib in the left nave.
The relics of Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great are housed at Santa Maria in Aracoeli, as are the remains of Saint Juniper, one of the original followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. Pope Honorius IV and Queen Catherine of Bosnia are also buried in the church. The tablet with the monogram of Jesus that Saint Bernardino of Siena used to promote devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus is kept in Aracoeli.
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Subhogen (3230) 2014-02-22 2:29
Very aptly titled these architectural beauties from the past is really the beauty of present day Rome. Not many cities in the world possess such rich cultural history as Rome. Your photo here presents just a portion of that. Like the silhouette of those beautiful statues atop those beautiful church. In Calcutta we have a beautiful building from the British era called the 'Victoria Memorial' the statue of the fairy on top of its dome was made in Italy. Quite similar in shape and design to what I see in your photo. Nicely done, thanks for sharing.
Sergiom (49050) 2014-02-22 5:08
Je me souviens très bien de cet endroit.J'aime le point de vue qui suit cette superbe rambarde dans l'image et qui offre un bel effet de profondeur à l'ensemble. Le ciel gris apporte une belle touche dramatique. J'aime aussi le traitement pas trop prononcé.
jurek1951 (39004) 2014-02-22 6:53
a superb photo of this place with spectacular details and attractive composition, the colours and lights are beautiful. Great shot of this architecture, Tfs
Silvio1953 (109385) 2014-02-22 7:57
Ciao Romano, POV favoloso, controluce di quelli tosti, l'hai elaborato molto bene in PP, bravo, ciao Silvio
rychem (15484) 2014-02-22 8:28
Beautiful and moody photo, great lighting and excellent diagonal composition, I like this cloudy sky, it creates an unique mood, splendid photo
holmertz (33567) 2014-02-22 8:31
The compositions is excellent. The balustrade drags me strongly towards the well known buildings. I am not totally convinced by the PP, which to my mind is rather heavily done and a bit exaggerated.
Noel_Byrne (16281) 2014-02-22 8:57
Questo è un bel teatro di Roma, e la silhouette della statua in cima l'edificio sembra particolarmente meraviglioso, sembra come se gli dèi stessi possano essere venuti a visitare per godersi la bellezza antica di questa città classica. Una splendida composizione di troppo, con il ballustrade ornato con l'occhio perfettamente e creare la profondità superba.
Vorrei guardare le immagini di Roma per ore e ore ...
krzychu30 (14412) 2014-02-22 14:44
hard not to agree with your title.Rome is truly a Wonder!
And I must say I really like this composition,quite different look on Rome and of course I love the strong graphical effect you´ve achieved.
It makes the scene even more pleasant and eye-catchin for me.
Have a nice sunday
Corry (3444) 2014-02-22 21:39
Superbe point de vue pour nous présenter l'église et le monument avec cette rampe en avant-plan. Très beau sujet pour faire une peinture. Très bien fait.
Nicou (109778) 2014-02-23 1:52
Avec ces deux statue noire sur les sommet quelle compo et ce mur de pierre en premier plant quel contraste de couleur ce gris-blanc et le brun claire sueprbe cadrage et mise en valeur de ces deux édifices sueprbe.
Bravo et beau dimanche
Mics (397) 2014-02-23 22:53
Oh, adoro questo uno! Composizione è eccellente, POV è meravigliosamente unica. Bel lavoro :-)
eldancer1 (22463) 2014-02-24 7:35
The city of Rome is indeed a wonderful and beautiful city rich with history. Nice capture of a slice of the city with good details. Well done, tfs.
SimoAle (520) 2014-02-24 9:44
continui a farci conoscere Roma in tante prospettive diverse. Ci sono dei particolari all'interno di questa composizione molto interessanti. Mi piace il rosso dei fiori che spicca al centro della foto ed il cielo minaccioso come tu tanto ami catturare.
Un timido sole illumina la parte destra..riuscirà a sconfiggere il temporale?
Gigidusud (11679) 2014-02-24 11:52
Ciao Caro Romano,
Non avevo ancora mai visto questo punto di visto su questa famosa architettura. Eccellente inquadratura, bella luce e splendido effetto HDR. Mi piace molto!
Ti auguro una bella settimana.
Cricri (95455) 2014-02-25 9:06
J'aime l'idée du cadrage, du mur de pierres avec les colonnes et les pots de fleurs, le contraste architecturales entre le monument et la basilique, excellent rendu des détails, belle et intéressante présentation
cornejo (24647) 2014-02-26 11:05
Ciao romano, molto buona fotografia di questa bella e interessante composizione con interessanti edifici di sfondo e ottima balaustra prospettiva di primo piano, splendidamente catturate in questa immagine interessante, con una buona nitidezza, profondità, luce e bel colore. Lavoro eccellente e interessante ben fatto, complimenti amico mio. Grazie per la condivisione di questo bel lavoro.
Buona notte e felice resto della settimana.
Cordiali saluti dal sud della Spagna.
jemaflor (76660) 2014-03-01 9:35
Interesting architecture and light management, good depth effect with this Fg, tfs.
mkamionka (28039) 2014-03-05 13:23
very famous place but quite an unusual angle which allowed a very original composition. I like the highly decorative fence in the foreground which leads the eye to the centre, I remember I took some photos of my wife in this spot over 10 years ago.
Bad weather is probably quite unusual there and adds an original touch as well.