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San Timoteo a Casal Palocco

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San Timoteo a Casal Palocco is a later 20th century parish and titular church at Via Apelle 1 in the Casal Palocco suburban zone, east of Ostia Antica.

The dedication is to St Timothy.

History Edit

The parish was established in 1968, and the church was begun in the same year to a design by Luigi Vagnetti. It was completed in 1970.

The church was made titular in 2015, the first cardinal priest being Arlindo Gomes Furtado.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

The plan is that of a square with chamfered corners, and the elevation is low. A pagoda roof dominates the exterior, and takes up two-thirds of the height of the building.

The structure begins with a low plinth occupying the chamfered square of the plan. A flight of four stairs accesses this at the front, and leads to a wide covered loggia which runs round the sides of the church and to the back (where the church is joined onto ancillary buildings to the rear of the site).

This loggia is sheltered by the roof, which has a deep overhang supported by thin concrete slab-piers in white concrete. The front and sides each have two of these, set perpendicular to the church wall, and each corner has one positioned diagonally. They are tucked behind the eaves, which have a continuous deep bargeboard in white concrete. (The main roof supports are inside the church.)

The low external walls of the church, within the loggia, are in orange render and have a continuous strip of window at their tops. These strips contain stained glass, and are above a grey frieze.

The walls are decorated with odd-looking relief sculptural slabs, looking as if they are fragments of ancient sarcophagi stuck on here and there.

The roof is tiled, with large curved brown tiles. It starts from the eaves with eight pitches, four main ones and four narrow ones from the chamfered corners. The main ones only rise for half the height of the roof before being interrupted by four enormous triangular louvre windows each of which is as wide as the pitch. These louvres have wide white concrete frames, and also contain stained glass. The narrow pitches from the four corners continue seamlessly to cover the sides of these louvres, and meet at ridge-lines which start at the apices of the louvres and end at the apex of the roof in a lantern.

The lantern is a low, square glass box capped by a cupola which overhangs it. This cupola is a very low pyramid, with deep white eaves in white having upturned corners. There is a white concrete finial, in the form of an octagonal prism with a bulb and cross on top.

Campanile Edit

Adjacent to the far left-hand corner is an enormous and impressive tower campanile in white and grey concrete. It was deliberately designed to be the highest structure in the suburb, which (at present) lacks tall apartment blocks.

The central element is a tall, thin grey concrete square tower, containing the access stairs. It has five storeys, separated by white concrete friezes. At each corner stands a concrete slab plinth set diagonally which is as high as the first storey, and on this stands three thin square concrete pillars. These are joined to each other by horizontal beams which are extensions of the friezes separating the tower storeys. The outermost pillars terminate just above the top of the second storey with an outwardly facing diagonal cut, but the other two at each corner rise to the top of the tower and beyond to support the flat concrete roof of the otherwise open bell-chamber. This chamber is separated from the top of the tower by a projecting concrete cornice. On top of the roof is a spire made up of four lozenges in steel network, separated by three triangles standing on the edges of the bell-chamber roof. This arrangement is called a rhenish helm in English church architecture.

Façade Edit

The central part of the external wall containing the single entrance is brought forward in between the pair of slab piers in order to form a little foyer. This section of wall contains a square molded stone doorcase reaching up to the grey frieze.

The doors are actually of stained glass, featuring Christ the Good Shepherd, and are spectacular when viewed from outside at night time when the church lights are on.

Interior Edit

The interior is dominated by the roof supports. The chamfered corners are occupied by massive engaged rectangular red brick piers, each of which supports the roof at one end of a louvre window. Also, a massive curved rib of square cross-section springs from each pier. The total of eight of these ribs meet at the square lantern at the top of the roof. Each ribs begins from its pier as free-floating, but then engages with the roof structure. There are rectangular ceiling panels between the ribs and the undersides of the ridge-lines running up from the tops of the louvre windows; most of these are in white, but some are painted in warm colours.

The louvre windows and the window strips at the tops of the walls (which are in white) contain semi-abstract stained glass.

A massive light fitting hangs from the lantern opening, comprising six horizontal wooden beams in the form of a Star of David.

The sanctuary occupies the space between the two far pairs of piers, and is raised on steps. The free-standing altar and the floor are in polished travertine limestone.

In between each pair of pilasters is a side chapel. The two far chapels have balconies over their entrances, with semi-circular metal railing balustrades.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 8:30, 17:30, 19:00;

Sundays and Solemnities 8:00, 9:30 (not August), 11:00, 12:15 (not July, August), 17:30, 19:00.

Lauds is celebrated daily at 9:00.

The Rosary is recited daily from 17:00 to 18:00, or the start of the 17:30 Mass.

There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Fridays in the late afternoon or evening (times seem to vary). This is an all-night vigil on First Fridays.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Beweb web-page

Info.roma web-page

Photo on Panoramio

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