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Sant'Anna a Morena

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Sant’Anna a Morena is a later 20th century parish church at Via di Torre Morena 61in the suburb of Morena, which in the Casal Morena zone and on the south-east edge of the city near Ciampino Airport.

The dedication is to St Anne, the mother of Our Lady.

History Edit

The parish was erected in 1973.

The church was begun in 1982 and completed in 1988, although only consecrated in 1993. The architects were Angelo Zamagna and Francesco Calippo.

The originally ugly entrance façade was given a complete makeover around the turn of the millennium.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

The plan is rectangular, made up of a single nave with five structural bays. Then comes a sanctuary of the same width. Appended to the left hand side of the last nave bay and the sanctuary is an external chapel, also rectangular. A single rectangular block attaches to the right hand side of the church from the fourth nave bay, and runs back well beyond the back of the sanctuary. This contains the parish offices and ancillary facilities.

The fabric is in reinforced concrete, with white concrete panel cladding for the nave but pale ochre concrete blocks for the sanctuary and side chapel walls.

The nave side walls are in white concrete panels, running up to high parapets concealing the flat roof. On the roof is a lot of ducting, which is thus hidden from view. The second and third bays each have their near vertical halves occupied by a large recessed window running up to the roofline, which here does not have a parapet. Thus, the nave side walls are divided into rectangular monolithic concrete slabs. The wall of the fourth bay on the left hand side is slightly recessed, but on the right hand side is occupied by the parish block.

The sanctuary has a completely separate roof. This has an impressive pagoda form, with a concave curve on either side of the major axis and with the crest itself rising up towards the entrance so as to create a spire. The surface created by this facing the entrance is taken up by a window. The materials used are laminated wood, covered by a greenish-grey composition. This roof is terminated by the parish block on the right, but to the left it is extended over the side chapel and has overhanging eaves.

The side chapel structure consists of a lower portion flanking the left hand side of the fifth bay of the nave, and a higher portion under the sanctuary roof just mentioned. The sanctuary side wall above the former matches the nave.

Façade Edit

The church is set back from the street, and faces a courtyard defined by a low wall topped by a white railing fence.

As mentioned, the original façade was rather grim. The nave side walls were extended forward, and topped by a horizontal slab canopy forming a rectangular entrance void entered by a short flight of steps. The necessary provision of disabled access gave the opportunity to refashion the arrangement in a rather techno-Baroque style not in accordance with the modernism of the original building. It's not ideologically correct, but is a definite improvement..

Now, there is a tabular entrance porch which is offset to the right of entrance on the major axis. This porch is a thin horizontal slab sitting on top of a slightly smaller slab, itself supported by a pair of longitudinal beams on four thin columns, the whole being in white. The back part of this structure is actually inserted into the entrance void beneath the original slab canopy

The entrance wall is rendered in pink. On top of the main slab canopy is now a false screen frontage built up of courses of grey brick separated by courses of red tile, with a curlicued top edge and an elliptical stained glass window with a chrysanthemum motif in blue and yellow on which is superimposed a thin, small Greek cross in red. The fabric here echoes that of ancient Roman ruins.

The same fabric is used for a longitudinal portal to the right of the porch, which has a ball finial on top of its near end. Two other ball finials sit either side of the roofline screen.

Interior Edit

Nave Edit

The interior is in three parts: nave, sanctuary and side chapel.

The nave walls are in white concrete separated by large windows in clear glass, and the flat roof is also in white. The walls have a dado in pale tan polished travertine limestone, and the floor is in the same material with a central longitudinal white stripe.

The ferial chapel is entered through an unadorned rectangular portal to the far left.

Sanctuary Edit

The sanctuary is entirely different. The large brownish-yellow brick blocks used to build the walls are left uncovered, and have thick grey mortar joins. The same colour belongs to concrete beams supporting the roof on each side. This beam is continued across the back wall, but is stepped down for the central section. The triangular area above this is infilled with a rather rough yellowish-grey render.

This zone has been provided with an icon of the Holy Family, surrounded with a text in Italian: "The Word became flesh, and lived among us". This is in commemoration of the Jubilee of 2000.

The spectacular roof, incurved downwards from the major axis, is in varnished laminated pine. Steam-bent transverse plank rafters and longitudinal underpurlin beams support close-fitted planking.

The altarpiece is a icon-screen in traditional Byzantine style. A central portrait of Christ the King is flanked by eight panels, each featuring two saints.

Access Edit

According to the Diocese, the church is open 7:00 to 20:00 daily.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 9:00, 17:20 (not Saturdays), 19:00 (18:30 Saturdays);

Sundays and Solemnities 8:00, 9:20, 10:30, 11:30, 18:30.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Beweb web-page

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