Sunday, September 22, 2019


Piazza Arulio Celio Sabino 50 - Tuscolano
1964/67 masterpiece by Giuseppe Nicolosi (1901/81)
St. Polycarp lived between the first and second century AD in Turkey. He was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist and was bishop of Smyrna in the period of Emperor Trajan (98/117)
This church is one of the most successful among the religious buildings built in Rome in the Sixties
The hexagonal plan determines a giant Star of David also explicitly quoted by the interior beams of the ceiling

“The internal bricks arranged in parallel and crossing rows intend to refer to the situation of human reality, in which lives and destiny of men and women intersect with one another, and in which each person, as each brick, is useful and necessary to support each other” (Official website of S. Policarpo Church -

Internal height of about 40 m (131 feet)

The architect has cleverly managed to quote, with the color and the treatment of the materials used, the nearby and remarkable ancient Roman ruins of the adjacent Park of the Aqueducts

At the end of the sixties this was the first church ever to be directly involved in the political turmoil of that period. It was even occupied by slum dwellers who lived nearby

“Extraordinary synthesis between figurative tension and geometric rigor. The research for a form figurative and timeless at the same time finds here its expressive peak. The building features an architectural design based on the shape of the hexagon, which ends up invading all areas, from the plan of the floor, to the volume of the building, to its structural pattern” (Giorgio Muratore)

“The whole play of volumes that some authors have described as animated by a 'telescopic dynamism' is indeed very innovative and it is a work of great maturity, especially in a period in which architectural experiments followed each other without apparently leading to unequivocal results. The complex system of layers of the roof highlights, from a first glance, a design quality of high profile, both structurally and in terms of form. (...) In short, we face a church where are happily married advanced architectural solutions and liturgical requirements, formal aspects and social commitment, demonstrating that a sacred building to be 'alive' must be a creature of its time participating in what is the social life of the community, so as to penetrate into it with the power of the Christian message” (Massimo Alemanno)

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