Thursday, May 24, 2018


In the SQUARE “Marble spire with Sts. Bartholomew, Paulinus of Nola, Francis of Assisi and John of God” 1869 by Ignazio Jacometti (1819/83) for Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78) in place of a column destroyed by a cart that hit it in 1867
All the saints represented on the column have a connection with the Tiber Island
The church was built in the year 998 by Emperor Otto III (980/1002) on the ruins of the Temple of Aesculapius in honor of St. Adalbert, bishop of Prague martyred in that year
The emperor asked the city of Benevento for the body of St. Bartholomew but the people of Benevento pretended to accept and sent instead the body of St. Paulinus of Nola, wanting to keep the body of the apostle
Otto III became aware of the deception, Benevento was conquered and the body of St. Bartholomew brought by force to Rome
Because of the relics of St. Bartholomew the church changed name in 1180. It was originally known as Sts. Adalbert, Paulinus and Bartholomew

It was restored in 1113 with a new bell tower by Paschal II (1099/1118) and in about 1180 by Alexander III Bandinelli (1159/81)
It was destroyed by the flood of 1557, rebuilt in the years 1583/85 maybe by Martino Longhi the Elder (1534/91)
It was completely renewed in 1623/24 by Orazio Torriani (about 1601/about 1657)
Other restorations in 1739, 1852 and 1973/76
The church is connected to a Franciscan monastery

Maybe by Orazio Torriani or Martino Longhi the Younger (1602/60) son of Onorio Longhi and grandson of Martino Longhi the Elder
Paintings by Bonaventura Loffredo from the time of Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78)
“Ancient columns” maybe from the Temple of Aesculapius
“Medieval marble well” maybe by Nicolò di Pietro Angelo or Vassalletto obtained from the drum of an ancient column with figures of the Saviour, Otto III and Sts. Adalbert and Bartholomew

Frescoes in the apse and canvas behind the altar “Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew” by the Sicilian Francesco Manno (1752/1831)
Under the altar “Old porphyry basin” with relics of St. Bartholomew who was flayed alive
Over the altar “Icon of the martyrs of the twentieth century” 2002
The church was dedicated in 2002 to the Christian martyrs of the twentieth and twenty-first century
In the six side chapels these martyrs are honored divided into four worldwide geographical areas (Africa, Spain and Mexico, Latin America and the fourth one including Asia, Oceania and the Middle East) and two chapels dedicated respectively to the martyrs killed under communist regimes and martyrs killed under the Nazi regime

At the bottom left is embedded in the wall a cannonball known as “miracle ball” shot here by the French during the siege of the Roman Republic in 1849, without causing casualties, although the church was packed
In the building next to the church is the CAPPELLA DELL'ADDOLORATA (Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrow) headquarters of the Confraternita dei Sacconi Rossi (Brotherhood of the Red Big Sacks) whose members would bury people drowned in the Tiber and people abandoned unburied who had been killed by robbers
There is still an underground cemetery and a room decorated with the skeletons of some people buried here, like the Cemetery of the Capuchin Fathers in Via Veneto

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