Santa Francesca Romana, Rome

Santa Francesca Romana, Rome

Santa Francesca Romana, Rome

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Description:
Santa Francesca Romana, previously known as Santa Maria Nova, is a church in Rome, Italy, situated next to the Roman Forum.

History

The church was built in the second half of the 10th century, incorporating an eighth-century oratory that Pope Paul I excavated in the wing of the portico of the Temple of Venus and Roma; it was named Santa Maria Nova ("new St. Mary"), to distinguish it from the other Roman Forum church devoted to St. Mary, Santa Maria Antiqua ("ancient St. Mary"), which had become dilapidated in the 10th century;This history of construction follows Touring Club Italiano, Roma e dintorni 1965:153f. it was rebuilt by Pope Honorius II in the 13th century, when the campanile was built and the apse was decorated with mosaics of a Maestà, the Madonna enthroned accompanied by saints. The interior has been altered since. Since 1352 the church has been in the care of the Olivetans. In the 16th century the church was rededicated to Frances of Rome (canonized in 1608), whose relics are in the crypt. Its travertine porch and façade is by Carlo Lambardi, and was completed in 1615.

The interior, in a single nave with side chapels, was rebuilt by Lambardi in the years preceding Francesca Buzzi's canonization, beginning in 1595. In the middle of the nave is the rectangular schola cantorum of the old church, covered in Cosmatesque mosaics. Another prominent feature is the confessional designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1638-49),...
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