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San Giovanni Berchmans

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San Giovanni Berchmans was the 19th century church, now demolished, of the Pontifical German-Hungarian College at Via San Nicola da Tolentino 13, in the rione Trevi.

It was dedicated to St John Berchmans.

HistoryEdit

The college had been founded by St Ignatius of Loyola in 1552, and was originally at Sant'Apollinare alle Terme until it was shut down by the occupying French at the end of the 18th century. When it was re-founded in 1814, it could not return because the original premises had been occupied by the Roman Seminary. So, the college was located at the Gesù and then at the Palazzo Borromeo on the Via del Seminario.

Finally, the college moved to the present site in1886 to occupy the then Hotel Costanzi, and built a full-sized church in the south-east corner of the block. The architect was Pio Piacentini.

Incredibly, this expensive edifice only stood for fifty-three years before it was demolished in 1939, after the surrounding area became fully built up and the Via Barberini was constructed.

The college was rebuilt then also, with an interior chapel replacing the former church. This is regarded as a church by the Diocese, San Pietro Canisio agli Orti Sallustiani, although it has no architectural identity.

LocationEdit

The site of the church is occupied by the balconied building with a red frontage on the north side of Via Barberini, the one with a branch of Brioni the tailors.

No part of the church's footprint impinges on the present street. The façade used to be on the Via del Falcone, which does not exist any more.

AppearanceEdit

This was a tall neo-Romanesque edifice in a German style, with a single nave structurally. Within, there were three chapels on each side and a matroneum or upper gallery. The fresco work in the apse and on the nave walls was by Guillery, and that in the matroneum was by Gonella. The latter featured a Mystical Presentation of the Institution of the Eucharist.

The apse was large and semi-circular, with five round-headed windows and five groups of three small arcaded round-headed windows below the roofline. The gable ends of the nave were decorated with little arcades on corbels.

BibliographyEdit

There is an illustration of the church in:

Chandlery, P. J: Pilgrim Walks in Rome, London 1903.

External linksEdit

Apart from a brief mention by Armellini, there is no online information.

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