|Santissima Trinità dei Monti|
|English name:||Most Holy Trinity of the Hills|
|Clergy:||Sisters of the Sacred Heart|
|Titular church||Cardinal Eyt|
|Architect(s):||Carlo Maderno Domenico Fontana|
|Artists:||Naldini da Volterra et.al.|
|Address:|| Piazza della Trinità dei Monti|
Santissima Trinità dei Monti is a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Picture of the church at Wikimedia Commons.
The full name of the church is Santissima Trinità al Monte Pinco, Most Holy Trinity at Monte Pincio, but this name is rarely used.
A chapel was built here at some time before 1492. Hermits settled here, and some of the are known to have been cruelly tortured by Charles V's soldiers when they sacked Rome in 1527, as the soldiers thought that they knew the location of a treasure.
After the successful French invasion of Naples in 1495, King Louis XII of France had the church built. Construction started in 1502, and was dragged out over a long period. In 1585, Pope Sixtus V could finally consecrate the church. It was built in the Gothic style, but the façade is neo-classical. It was stripped of most of its decoration by the French during Napoleon's occupation of Rome. The Kings of France were patrons of the church, and Louis XVIII gave the decorations back, and the interior was reconstructed in the early 19th century by a French architect.
It was built for the Order of Minims. In 1821, it was transferred to St Madeleine Sophie Barat, who founded the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Since September 2006, when the Sisters of the Sacred Heart withdrew from the church, it has been entrusted to the Fraternités Monastiques de Jérusalem' (The Jerusalem Community) , a community dedicated to living the monastic life in the heart of the city.
The current titular of the church is H.E. Cardinal Pierre Eyt, Archbishop of Bordeaux.
The most impressive part of the exterior has little to do with the church itself - the location at the top of the Spanish Steps makes it stand out among the churches in Rome.
The obelisk on the piazza was erected by Pope Pius VI in 1788; it was first brought to Rome in the 2nd or 3rd century, when it was placed in the Gardens of Sallust. The hieroglyphs are not original; they were copied from the obelisk in the Piazza del Popolo when the obelisk had been brought from Egypt.
Most of the interior is railed off for the community of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
The twisted columns in the sanctuary are from the 13th century.
In the vaults of the transepts, there are traces of the original Gothic latticework.
In the first chapel on the right is an altarpiece and frescoes by Giovanni Battista Naldini.
There are two paintings by Daniele da Volterra, a pupil of Michelangelo: The Deposition in the second chapel on the left, and the Assumption in the third chapel on the right; this chapel was designed by da Volterra and completed by his pupils. The last figure on the right in the latter paiting is a portrait of Michelangelo. Both paintings are damaged, especially the Deposition which was transferred to canvas in 1811.
In the fourth chapel on the left, in the north transept, is a painting by Taddeo Zuccari, depicting the Assumption and Death of the Virgin. The artist died before it was completed, and his brother Federico finished it.
A painting of the Blessed Virgin known as the Mater Admirabilis is preserved and venerated in the convent. It is possible to see and venerate it, and many former students of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, whose main task is teaching, find their way here to do so. It was painted in 1844, and got its name from Pope Pius IX a few years later. St Theresa of the Child Jesus came to pray before this painting that she would be allowed to enter Carmel at the age of 15.
The main door is normally closed; enter through a side door in the convent building. If the door is locked during the normal opening hours, you can ring the bell by the door.
Normally open daily 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-18.30.