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Sant'Antonio da Padova in Montorio

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Sant'Antonio da Padova in Montorio is a small deconsecrated 18th century church or devotional chapel on the hairpin bend of the Rampa di San Pietro in Montorio in Trastevere.

It was dedicated to St Anthony of Padua.

HistoryEdit

The chapel was founded in the latter part of the 18th century (after 1748), as part of the devotional arrangements for pilgrims provided by the Franciscan convent at San Pietro in Montorio.

Since the convent and its church stands on top of a steep slope of the Janiculum, access from Trastevere below has always been awkward. Wheeled access used to be via the present Via Garibaldi from the Porta Settimiana as far as the first bend south-east of the church, and then doubling back in a (now gone) steep hairpin to the entrance piazza.

To facilitate pedestrian access the friars laid out the present rampa, which now has a series of Stations of the Cross along its length. The chapel was later erected in response to strong popular devotion to St Anthony of Padua, who only had Sant'Antonio dei Portoghesi dedicated to him in Rome at the time.

When the convent was suppressed by the Italian government in 1873 the chapel rather lost its reason for existence, and was deconsecrated in 1878 after the convent was taken over by the Spanish Academy.

Subsequently it was apparently mostly demolished. The site is occupied by a small block edifice with a flat terrace on top, and there has been speculation as to what is behind the surviving façade and as to whether any further parts of the chapel fabric survive there.

The altarpiece painting survives at San Pietro in Montorio, not in the church but in a passage between it and the Tempietto.

AppearanceEdit

The lower part of the facade survives, with the entrance door blocked up with cement. There are four Doric pilasters, now supporting nothing, flanking this doorway which has a segmental pediment. To either side of these pilasters is a rectangular niche in brick, with Doric pilasters and a triangular pediment. These now contains two of the Stations of the Cross. Over the doorway is an inscription reading votum fecit, gratiam accepit ("He made a vow, he received grace").

The second storey of the façade is now blank below its horizontal roofline, except for a small shield in a wreath.

The plan was a simple rectangle, and there was only the one altar.

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