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Santa Maria Regina della Pace a Tor Vergata

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Santa Maria Regina della Pace a Tor Vergata is a 21st century parish church at Via di Tor Vergata 309 in Tor Vergata, south of the Diramazione Roma Sud and the University campus.

The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of "Queen of Peace".

This church is in the municipality of Rome, but belongs to the diocese of Frascati.

History Edit

The parish website referred to the church to it a a Piccolo paradiso nel deserto di Tor Vergata or "Little paradise in the desert of Tor Vergata", a gentle reminder that this is one of Rome's suburbs that is not pretty.

The parish was established in 2003, and first worshipped in a prefabricated shed. The building of a permanent church was finally accomplished in 2010, which had proved a challenge for a parish that was not wealthy (the land was donated by the city).

Tragically, the new church was completely gutted by fire on 21 November 2012. There was nothing of the structure that could be saved, and it had to be demolished in June 2013. This was done by Army corps, and paid for by the city.

The parish then had to go back to worshipping in the prefab.

According to Google Street, the church had been rebuilt by May 2016 although apparently not yet in use. There seems to be nothing about it online, so presumably it is awaiting consecration at the start of 2017.

Appearance of destroyed church Edit

The burned church was a small, low polyhedral building in wood and plastic.

The structure had been in three structural units. Firstly came a twelve-sided wooden pagoda frame (like a bandstand), with a roof framework in low sectors having circumferential rafters connecting the radial beams. The latter met at a lantern opening.

This frame was surrounded by a separate set of wooden walls, of vertical varnished planks and based on an octagonal plan. The corners of the octagon were chamfered except for the two flanking the entrance, so the polyhedron actually had fourteen sides. These walls supported a narrow zone of flat roofing surrounding the main roof described above. The longer sides of the polyhedron each had a large rectangular window, except for behind the altar.

The third structural element was a white plastic tent cover over the entire roof, which curved upwards like an inverted funnel around and above the lantern. This was brought forward over the entrance side, and supported itself by the corners of the extension curving down to reach the ground on either side. These elements tapered down almost to a point.

The interior was simple, with the wooden ceiling frame on view.

This was an architecturally interesting little church, and it was a great pity that it was lost.

Replacement church Edit

Relying entirely on the views on Google Earth and Google Street 2016, it seems that the church was rebuilt on its old footprint and to a similar design. However, the walls are in white render (not wood, then?) and the conical tent roof has a shorter central funnel with a gentler curve. The actual worshipping space seems to be smaller, with the former flat-roofed zone surrounding it being replaced by an open walkway sheltered by the overhanging roof.

The plan is now a strict octagon.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 18:00;

Sundays and Solemnities 10:00, 11:30, 18:00.

External links Edit

Parish website

Youtube video of church before it burned

Youtube video of destruction of church

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