Tuesday, October 22, 2013


1992/96 Louis D. Astorino (1948)
The house is also known by its Latin name: DOMUS SANCTAE MARTAE
Astorino was the first and only American architect to design a building in Vatican City
It replaced the Hospice of St. Marta built in 1891 by Leo XIII Pecci (1878/1903) to accommodate any cholera patients. The epidemic hit many Italian cities but it eventually spared Rome and so the building was destined for the homeless of Borgo and Trastevere as well as for pilgrims
  During World War II it was a safe place to live in for the ambassadors to the Holy See for those countries with which Italy had broken off diplomatic relations such as United States of America, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Poland
It is now the hotel where since 2005 the college of cardinals who take part in the conclave to elect new popes stays
In ordinary time it is used to lodge prelates living temporarily in Vatican City
Its construction has caused a lot of controversy for the height higher than that of the previous building of 4.25 m (14 feet). This has limited the best perspective from Italian territory on the drum of Michelangelo's dome of the Basilica of St. Peter

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