SANTO SPIRITO IN SASSIA
Borgo S. Spirito 1

Area: Vaticano

City: Rome
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The origins of the Complesso Santo Spirito in Sassia date back to A.D. 727 when the Saxon king Ina founded the “Schola Saxonum” (from where the word “Sassia” derives), a refuge centre for pilgrims arriving in Rome to visit the Apostle Peter’s tomb. The Complesso, destroyed by fire and pillage, was rebuilt by Marchionne d’Arezzo in 1198 under the pontificate of Innocent III. This pope entrusted the Order of the Hospital of Santo Spirito, established by Guido di Montpellier, with the objective to create a hospital to help the sick, the poor and the “proietti” (abandoned and illegitimate babies).
Its subsequent reconstruction and enlargement was apparently carried out by the architect Baccio Pontelli between 1471 and 1478. Such work was due to an initiative of Pope Sixtus IV, who was named “the great builder” because of he commissioned countless works. One of these works is the Corsia Sistina (Sistine Ward) adorned with a cycle of frescoes commemorating the history of the hospital, its rebuilding and the biography of this famous Franciscan pope. The majestic octagonal Tiburio divides the Sistine Ward (120 metres long) into two large halls. In its centre, there is an altar attributed to Palladio carrying inside a painting by Carlo Maratta (seventeenth century).
Under the pontificate of Pio V (1566-1572), the hospital structure was extended with the construction of the Palazzo del Commendatore. The latter was due to Monsignor Bernardino Cirillo and built by Giovanni Lippi alias Nanni di Baccio Bigio.
In the second half of the nineteenth century the Sistine Ward’s two halls were named Sala Lancisi and Sala Baglivi. In fact, Lancisi e Baglvi were two renowned doctors who worked in the hospital.
Just passing the entrance, there is a wonderful marble portal called “Portale del Paradiso” (heaven’s door), attributed to Andrea Bregno



Info and reservation:

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