Rome Travel Guide

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Church Lady revisits the neglected

We've written a couple posts (including things to do around the train station) that have featured within them the long neglected - but still a gem - church of Santa Bibiana.  A young Bernini designed the portico, facade and sculpture of the saint on the bones of an early 5th century church.

We've bemoaned the total isolation of this church as it is now surrounded by roads, railway tracks and railway buildings - not to mention the graffiti which supposedly never is done on church property (oh, yeah).

From one of the blog's loyal followers, BT, comes this lovely engraving of Santa Bibiana as it once looked.  The print is from Rome's Palazzo Braschi collection. 

Now compare that to today's Santa Bibiana (taken from the right side, as you look at the engraving). 

This photo is too good, and we couldn't find any to include here that really show the church now hemmed in by train tracks, station buildings, and streets.  Check this link for a better (or worse, depending on one's perspective) view of Santa Bibiana's current woes.

The posts linked in the first lines above relay some comments on Santa Bibiana by church historian Glen Thompson, and a vivid description of the unusual life of this saint.
A recent painting by Anita Viola Nielsen of Denmark shows the church
 crunched in next to the modernist tower and station buildings; see
Dianne (aka Church Lady)

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