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Santissimo Sacramento a Tor de’Schiavi

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Santissimo Sacramento a Tor de’Schiavi is a later 20th century parish church at Largo Agosta 10 in the suburb of Tor de’ Schiavi, the north-west corner of Centocelle in the Prenestino-Labicano quarter. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons are here.

The dedication is to the Blessed Sacrament.

HistoryEdit

The parish was set up in 1963.

The church was designed by Francesco Fornari in a modernist interpretation of the neo-Romanesque style, begun in 1966 and and completed in 1968.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

This is a very tall single-naved edifice, which seems to have two storeys with the church in the first. The fabric has a reinforced concrete frame, with concrete block infill. The walls, apart from the façade, are rendered in a vary pale tan colour.

The nave has five bays. Then comes a deep transept, as deep as the two main nave bays together, which has its crossing as high as the nave but its two arms (which extend beyond the nave to form a Latin cross) are only as high as the first storey. They contain side chapels. Then comes a sanctuary of a single shallow bay with a large external semi-circular apse which is narrower than the nave.

The nave has two rows of windows. The first row lights the church proper, and are vertically rectangular. There is a single window in each side of each bay, five in all. The second row, lighting the aula in the second storey above the church, matches the first row but the windows have angled tops.

The transept end walls each have two very tall rectangular windows. The sanctuary apse has a window strip below the roofline.

Vertical drainpipe conduits divide the nave side walls in between the first and second bays, the third and fourth and also occupy the near corners of the transept.

The main roof of the church runs in one gabled and tiled double pitch from the façade to the end of the sanctuary bay. The lower roofs of the transept ends are also gabled, but have hips. The apse has its own tiled roof, in sectors.

There is a campanile on a square plan attached the far side of the right-hand transept end, which is a tall plain tower with a bell-cage formed of eight vertical struts supporting a low tiled pyramidal cap.

Recently, a huge monochrome depiction of the Madonna and Child was painted on the apse wall. This must be one of the biggest depictions of Our Lady in Rome.

Façade Edit

The entrance frontage either side of the single entrance is recessed for the entire length, below an enormous horizontal concrete beam bearing a dedicatory inscription: D.O.M. in hon. S.S. Sacramenti corporis et sanguinis D.N.I.C. A.D. MCMLXVIII.

This beam is supported by a pair of squat grey concrete longitudinal rectangular piers, which engage with the wall behind. Each of these has a vertically attached pyramid at the top of its front face. The wall below the beam is revetted in limestone slabs, and in front is a short flight of stairs running the width of the façade in between the piers.

The fabric above the beam is in dark grey, with broad stripes in dull red. At the gable there is a slightly protruding concrete canopy following the roofline gable but slightly above it, with short pendant vertical elements at each end.

There is an attached papal coat-of-arms in relief above the beam, of Bl Paul VI, and above that a round window containing stained glass.

The entrance doors are plated in patinated bronze, chased with depictions in relief of scenes in the Bible.

InteriorEdit

Nave Edit

The nave interior has a flat ceiling, which is the floor of the aula above.

The nave bays are divided by double rectangular engaged concrete piers, which continue across the ceiling as double support beams. In between each pair of piers is a third pier, prouder than the two and running up through the ceiling to support the roof of the aula.

The interior has been recently repainted, and is no longer just in white. The fronts of the double piers are in yellow, while their sides and the protruding middle piers are in grey. The walls and ceiling remain in white. In between the piers the side walls have tall dados in what looks like grey veined marble.

Transept Edit

The transept contains a side chapel in each end. A 1906 work by Antonio Cisterna, Christ Adored by Angels, is in the left hand one.

The flat ceiling is supported by a pair of square free-standing piers, one on each side of the crossing, which are painted yellow. Over the crossing is a huge square void in the otherwise flat ceiling, and this contains four triangular slabs which slope upward to recall the interior of a dome.

The crossing now contains the sanctuary, which has been brought forward in a recent re-ordering to allow for a ferial (weekday) chapel in the former sanctuary. This has been isolated by a huge glass screen filling the entrance void into the former sanctuary bay.

The altar stands on a red marble sanctuary platform, approached by three steps. Behind it, in front of the glass screen, is the free-standing tabernacle in the form of a little domed edifice in cream-coloured stone on a tall pedestal.

Ferial chapel Edit

The apse of what is now the ferial chapel features a large fresco cycle by Bartolomeo Florea (a Romanian archimandrite) in a modernized Byzantine style. There are three major panels in the apse, separated by a pair of engaged square concrete piers in light grey. The wall here has the grey marble dado, too. The far wall of the sanctuary bay, either side of the apse, and its side walls are also frescoed.

The central panel features The Crucifixion, which is flanked by four smaller panels featuring the Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. The curved apse wall on the other side of the piers feature The Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes to the left, and The Last Supper to the right. The sanctuary bay wall around the apse has St Peter to the left, and St Paul to the right. The side walls have The Trinity (after the famous icon by Rublev) and The Supper at Emmaus.

The ceiling of the apse is again flat, in white. This is not the roof, as there is a second storey space which the roofline strip of windows lights.

Access Edit

The church is open daily from 6:45 to 21:00 (on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 23:00).

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 7:00 (not summer), 9:00, 18:00;

Sundays and Solemnities 8:00, 10:00 (not summer), 11:15, 12:30, 18:30 (19:30 summer).

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

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