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Trasfigurazione di Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo

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Trasfigurazione di Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo is a 20th century Fascist-era parish and titular church at Piazza della Trasfigurazione 2 in the suburb of Monteverde Nuovo. This is in the Gianicolense quarter. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons are here.

The dedication is to the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ Christ.

History Edit

The church was designed by Tullio Rossi, and completed in 1936. The parish was set up in the same year.

There was a recent restoration of the external façade, involving different colours for the paintwork.

The church was made titular in 2001, and the present cardinal priest is Pedro Rubiano Sáenz.

ExteriorEdit

Layout and fabric Edit

The church has a typical basilical layout. There is a central nave of six bays with aisles, a transept of one bay and a tall semi-circular apse. The transept has two sub-bays structurally. The near half of each end at the top of each aisle is as wide as the aisle, but the far half is narrower and contains a side chapel. The top outer corner of this chapel is rounded.

All the roofs of the main edifice are flat. However, there is an external chapel off the near end of the left hand aisle which has a pitched, hipped and tiled roof.

The aisle walls are blank, rendered in a beige colour. The upper central nave walls are also in beige, but have six round-headed windows on each side with frames in a darker brown. Each of these windows has a device in its semi-circular top bit in the form of a cross over a circle.

The church is famous for being stripey -the stylistic feature has been called (rather minimalistically) Byzantine. As well as the façade (see below), the near left hand external chapel, the apse and the transepts with their chapels are panelled with horizontal stripes in slight relief. These are painted in a darkish brown, over the beige wall background for the far end of the church -the beige is replaced with white for the entrance end.

Façade Edit

The entrance façade is faintly ancient Egyptian in shape, as the walls of the nave above the aisles are slightly battered and there is a horizontal slightly overhanging cornice.

The wall has been repainted and is now in white, crossed by nine horizontal stripes in relief which are dark brown. There are no windows or any other decoration, resulting in the façade having a slightly sinister air.

The main entrance and the smaller side entrances have door-cases in whitish stone, with the stripes continued in relief on them (on the aisle doors these are in matching brown).

There are three coats of arms on the main door lintel, and the doors themselves are in bronze with an abstract sculptural relief by Pierangelo Pagani. This work was completed in 2000 as a memorial of the Jubilee year.

The piazza in front of the church has escaped being a car park, and is now an attractive urban open space with patterned paving.

InteriorEdit

Nave Edit

The nave has side aisles, which also occupy the sides of the transept and end in a pair of side chapels. They are separated from the nave by a colonnade of columns in what looks like yellow marble (probably not) and which lack proper capitals. Instead, each has a disc abacus supporting a square-plate impost. There is no arcade, but instead an incomplete entablature down each side of the nave, having a frieze and projecting cornice but no architrave.

Each bay of the nave has a pair of large round-headed windows in its central side walls. These are topped by lunettes, as the side walls curve over at the top to join the ceiling. The latter consists of transverse rectangular concrete panels fitted together.

Most of the interior is in white, except for the columns and for a high dado in what looks like yellow stone again, which runs round the interior walling. The ceiling is in a cream colour.

The external chapel at the bottom of the left hand aisle was built as a baptistery.

Sanctuary Edit

When the sanctuary was re-ordered after 1970 so as to bring the altar forward, it was extended to intrude into the last bay of the nave. The floor is raised on one step. The altar, lectern and new octagonal font are in unadorned cut limestone.

Behind the altar, the transept and the semi-circular apse each have a version of a triumphal arch which has no proper archivolt but instead two curved sections at each end joining onto a horizontal central beam to imitate the section of the central nave. The ceiling of the transept imitates that of the nave, and the high apse ceiling is also flat.

The apse is now occupied by the church organ (!). Above it is the altarpiece, which is a copy of the Transfiguration by Raphael.

Side chapel Edit

The chapel at the end of the right hand aisle is dedicated to Our Lady.

The chapel at the end of the left hand aisle is the Blessed Sacrament chapel. It has an interesting cameo-style relief of the Resurrection, white on blue, on the far wall above a stained glass screen with an abstract pattern representing Pentecost. The tabernacle is set into this.

The tabernacle itself is a very good circular ceramic work, in the form of a dish in yellow and grey with a cross motif, with the door being a red disc with white abstract vermicelli ornamentation.

Liturgy Edit

Church Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 8:30 (not Saturdays), 18:00 (19:00 summer);

Sundays and Solemnities 7:30, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 18:00 (19:00 summer).

Subsidiary chapels Edit

The parish advertises five dependent Mass centres in convent chapels (although the Diocese lists none of them as public places of worship):

Cristo Re delle Suore Francescane della Beata Angelina

Madonna del Buon Consiglio delle Suore Serve di Maria Addolorata

Sacro Cuore di Gesù delle Suore Oblate del Sacro Cuore

Santa Maria Mater Carmeli delle Suore Carmelitane Missionarie (used in tandem with the above.)

Sant'Elena della Casa Adele

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website (Needs a Java plugin to display properly.)

Info.roma web-page

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