Santa Maria dei Miracoli
and Santa Maria di Montesanto
are two churches in Rome
They are located on the Piazza del Popolo
, facing the northern gate of the Aurelian Walls
, at the entrance of Via del Corso
on the square. The churches are often cited as "twin", due to their similar external appearance: they have indeed some differences, in both plan and exterior details.
Looking from the square, the two churches define the so-called "trident" of streets departing from Piazza del Popolo: starting from the left, Via del Babuino
, Via del Corso and Via di Ripetta
. The first two are separated by Santa Maria in Montesanto, the latter by Santa Maria dei Miracoli.
The origin of the two churches traces back to the 17th century restoration of what was the main entrance to the Middle Ages
Rome, from the Via Flaminia
(known as Via Lata
and Via del Corso
in its urban trait). Pope Alexander VII
commissioned the monumental design of the entrance of Via del Corso to architect Carlo Rainaldi
. This included two churches with central plant, but the different shapes of the two areas available forced deep modifications to the projects.
Both were financed by cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi, whose crest is present in the two churches.
Santa Maria in Montesanto
Santa Maria in Montesanto, erected over a church with the same name that lay at the beginning of Via del Babuino, and was occupied by Carmelite monks. The name Montesanto (Holy Mountain) referred to Mount Carmel
in... Read More