Sunday, January 12, 2014

Santa Maria di Loreto, Rome

We went to Rome over New Year's, and so there will be plenty of posts presenting popular and peculiar places in the Eternal City. Since it's Sunday, we'll start with a church that you probably haven't heard of...we visited just because it was there and looked nice!

The church of Santa Maria di Loreto is a sixteenth-century church just across from Trajan's Column in Rome. After the jubilee year in 1500, the local metallurgical guild received permission to build a church on the site, replacing a chapel that had a copy of the icon of the Virgin at Loreto. The copy remains in the church today.

Santa Maria di Loreto, Rome

The door lintel

The interior of the church is a small octagon with a nice dome above.


Dome (click to enlarge)

The church has some fine statues featuring some early women martyrs like Saint Agnes and Saint Cecilia. These statues flank the main altar.

Main altar (with a slightly tacky Baby Jesus)

Early martyrs

Even more striking to me was a recessed crucifix on one of the side altars. No particular mention was made for why the cross was set up that way.

Recessed crucifix

Another side altar had a nice blend of statues and mosaics with tricky lighting.

A side altar

Since we visited around the New Year celebrations, they naturally had some Nativity scenes set up inside the church.

First nativity

Second, larger nativity

Sadly, my picture of the Madonna of Loreto did not come out well so you'll have to go to Rome to see it for yourself!

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