Tuesday, December 29, 2009

20th Century Church Birdwalking

Chiesa di Santi Aquila e Priscilla

The first trip with my new book (GUIDA ALL'ARCHITETTURA SACRA. ROMA 1945-2005) to find a 20th Century Roman Church took me to Quartiere Portuense and the west bank of the Tiber River. Tucked among some industrial buildings I found the church dedicated to Saints Aquila and Priscilla. It was designed by Ignazio Breccia Fratadocchi and built between 1989 - 1992.

The entrance doors: outside (above) and inside (below)

The interior, which is a central plan, rather than a basilica plan, is dominated by a large suspended cross and some sort of historical image of the Virgin behind the altar. To the right, beyond the baptismal and through stained glass windows, is the Eucharistic Chapel.
The cross, hanging from an "industrial" ceiling, has a wrapped element near the bottom that probably alludes to the Resurrection.
The tabernacle makes a monumental statement in a space illuminated by light coming through polychromed stained glass windows designed by Costantino Ruggeri, a Franciscan priest.

Note: Aquila was a 1st century Jewish tentmaker and Priscilla was his wife. They were converted to Christianity and entertained the apostle Paul in Corinth and Ephesus. Their house in Rome was used as a Christian meeting place.

1 comment:

Topaz said...

On a recent visit to Rome, from the top of the cupola at Saint Peter's, I was surprised to see a church with a bright blue roof. This turns out to be a new Russian Orthodox church, consecrated in 2006(?), after a long and troublesome gestation period. Full name, Chiesa Ortodossa Russa di Santa Caterina Martire d'Alessandria; and its on the Janiculum Hill, just south of the Vatican.
Worth a visit . . .