Thursday, July 25, 2019


1767/75 Clemente Orlandi (1694/1775) Luigi Vanvitelli's pupil. It was built over a previous church of mysterious origins
“The church stands on the site of an older one, for which the only source is a manuscript of Giovanni Antonio Bruzio. According to this manuscript some Hungarian and Polish monks, following the rule of St. Paul the First Hermit, previously settled in S. Salvatore in Onda and later in S. Stefano Rotondo, in 1669 bought this site on Viminal Hill from the Cistercians of St. Pudentiana and erected here a small church and a monastery” (Antonio Michelazzi -
“It was the most important job, albeit late in his life, that Orlandi was ever given. His career, although celebrated with important academic awards, had consisted mainly in technical consulting, renovations and restorations. So he poured it into what was to be his masterpiece, all of his architectural culture, deeply rooted in the great tradition of the Roman Baroque” (Antonio Federico Caiola)
It is the last example of a Baroque style building in Rome
It became the new Hungarian church of the Order of the Pauline Monks after the destruction in 1777 of the ancient church of the Hungarians near the Basilica of St. Peter, for the construction of the new sacristy
It was also dedicated to the St. Stephen I (about 970/1038), the first king of Hungary who had promoted the conversion of the Hungarians to Christianity
Since 1801 it belonged to the Conservatory of the Most Holy Trinity
Deconsecrated in 1870 when the Savoy crest on the FAƇADE replaced a palm tree. The coat of arms is still however supported by two lions and a raven, symbol of the saint as the palm
It is now owned by the Ministry of Interior and it is the seat of the officers' club of the Italian Police

A Greek cross with a dome with skylight windows. The original decorations is gone
St. PAUL OF THEBES lived in the third century AD and, according to tradition, when he was sixteen, during the persecution of Decius (249/251), fled into the wilderness where he lived for almost ninety years sheltered in a cave with a palm tree and a source of water, eating the bread that was brought to him by a raven
He would have died at 113 years in the year 341 AD
At his death, St. Anthony Abbot buried him in a pit dug, according to legend, by two lions
In the emblem of the Order of the Pauline Monks there are the symbols of St. Paul of Thebes that relate to his life: a palm tree, two lions and a raven with a piece of bread in its beak

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