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Annunciazione della Villa Flaminia

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Annunciazione della Villa Flaminia is a later 20th century school chapel at Viale del Vignola 56, within the bend of the Lungotevere Flaminio west of the Via Flaminia. This is in the rione Flaminio.

The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the aspect of her Annunciation.

This is a dedicated private chapel, not open to the public. The local parish is Santa Croce a Via Flaminia.

History Edit

The church, convent and school of the Fratelli Scuole Cristiani (Brothers of the Christian Schools) at San Giovanni Battista de La Salle alla Piazza di Spagna was put under threat of demolition in 1931, when the Fascist government promulgated a scheme for a new road. In response, the congregation acquired an 18th century villa west of the Via Flaminia, just before the Milvian Bridge. The Villa Obbligh (formerly known as the Villa Flaminia) was purchased in 1935. However the Second World War put a stop both to the road scheme, and the project to move the school. Instead, the Brothers built a new school known as the Istituto Villa Flaminia, which they began in 1952 and opened four years later. The architects were the Studio Passarelli.

The original scheme would probably have involved a full-sized church or chapel. Here, an below ground-level chapel was built in the basement of the central block of the school complex. It was formally consecrated by Cardinal Dino Staffa in 1968.

Exterior Edit

Being underground, the chapel has no external presence but circular skylights which light the sanctuary are visible in the courtyard above. Also, there is a campanile in the form of a metal frame at the external entrance. This has five bells, named after the five members of the congregation resident here in 1968 when the chapel was opened.

Interior Edit

Nave Edit

The structure is circular, in reinforced concrete which has been left in a raw state. Four piers support the roof, which is coffered in squares. Rectangular windows have brightly coloured stained glass.

At the entrance, accessed from outside by a flight of stairs, is a marble relief of the Annunciation.

The holy water stoup at the entrance, the bronze crucifix and the Stations of the Cross are all by Manfredo Coltellini, a sculptor from Arezzo.

An epigraph in bronze lettering commemorating the consecration in 1968 is set into the centre of the floor.

Sanctuary Edit

The altar is a solid block of Carrara marble, set on four little grey granite plinths. Granite is also used for the seating for the ministers, and forms the main part of the lectern or ambo. The book-rest of this is bronze, resting on a marble slab.

Behind the altar is a large mosaic commissioned by the Pesci family in commemoration of their son who had died tragically while a schoolboy here, aged thirteen. It is by the Pierotti firm of Pietrasanta, and has four panels. The depictions are: Creation, The Annunciation, The Holy Family at Work and The Saints of the Brothers. The last-named shows the founder, St John Baptist de la Salle, also St Benildus Romançon and Bl Salomone Leclerq.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

School's website

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