Santa Maria degli Angeli 

(Our Lady of the Angels and the Martyrs) 

Piazza della Repubblica

Tel: +39 06 488 0812 

Transport :

Metro Line A – Repubblica 

Bus routes H, 40, 60, 64, 70, and 170.

 

Hours: 

Monday - Saturday 7:00am - 6:30pm and Sunday 7:00am - 7:30pm.

 

The Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli is a basilica and it has a very unusual façade. The church was built in the remains of the Baths of Diocletian and is dedicated to the Christians who died while constructing the Baths. Michelangelo designed the church and  worked on it between 1563 and 1564. His student Jacopo Lo Duca finished its contruction when Michelangelo died. The legend is that a monk from Sicily by the name of Antonio del Duca saw angels in the ruins of the Baths, so Pope Pius IV ordered that a church be built there in 1561. The tomb of this Pope is found in the church. The church was given to the Carthusians when the church was completed and they constructed a monastery beside the church. 

Between 1870 and 1946 the church was the official state church of the Kingdom of Italy, and today national burials (such as the funeral of soldiers killed abroad) are held in the church.In the courtyard of the church, there is a five meter high bronze statue of Galileo Divine Man created by 1957 Nobel laureate Tsung-Dao Lee in 2010. The church also has the tombs of General Armando Diaz and Admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel, famous for their efforts during the First World War.  

In the early 18th century Pope Clement XI had a Meridian Line added to the church. This line is a symbol that the Christian calendar has triumphed over the pagan calendar used in the past by the ancient Romans. At 12:15 pm (1:15 in the summer), one can see the sun cast its light directly on the Meridian Line.

 

 

The statue of Galileo.