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Santa Maria Immacolata al Collegio Massimiliano Massimo

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Santa Maria Immacolata al Collegio Massimiliano Massimo is a deconsecrated 19th century church in the present Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, which is the main branch of the Museo Nazionale Romano.

HistoryEdit

The Collegio Massimiliano Massimo was founded in 1873 by Massimiliano Massimo, a Jesuit priest who was a member of an ancient Roman family. As such he had inherited a villa on the site of what is now Termini station in 1873, and he donated the property for the purpose. The new institution was intended to continue the work of the old Roman College , the property of which had been confiscated by the State in 1870, and offered to boys an elementary, secondary and technical education.

When the premises were in turn sequestered for the expansion of Termini station, a completely new complex was begun in 1883 and completed in 1887. The architect was Camillo Pistrucci.

The school remained at the site, except for an interlude in the Second World War, until 1960 when it moved to new, more commodious and modern premises in EUR. The old building was, in effect, abandoned until 1981 when it was acquired for the museum. Its condition by then had become so bad that opening as a museum only occurred after massive restoration in 1995.

The church's successor is Santa Maria Immacolata del Istituto Massimo.

AppearanceEdit

The church had no separate architectural identity, but counted as more than a chapel because it had the relics of a saint, St Maximilian, enshrined under the main altar. He was rather dubious, being one of those acquired from the catacombs without any continuity of veneration.

It is now apparently Room 7 in the museum (this needs confirmation).

It was on a rectangular plan, with a coffered ceiling. Over the high altar was a statue of the Immaculate Conception by Ignazio Jacometti. Frescoes on the walls by E. Bottoni depicted SS Aloysius Gonzaga, John Berchmans and Philip Neri. He was also responsible for the altarpieces of the two side altars, depicting St Ignatius Loyola and St Francis Xavier.

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