Basílica de Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri by fredmatos

The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri is located in Piazza della Repubblica. On-site originally worked the Baths of Diocletian, sent build by Emperor Maximiano between 298 and 306, to meet the demand of the growing population in that area of ​​town. The complex of baths, with almost 400 meters of hand, could accommodate about three thousand people.

The site was donated by Pope Pius IV (pontificate 1559-1565) to Santa Cruz Order of monks in Jerusalem, and Michelangelo was commissioned to adapt the premises to its new purpose, work that began in 1563 and which became the central hall of the baths in this church of Santa Maria of the Angels.

In 1576, with Pope Gregory XIII (pontificate 1572-1585), were built barns, later increased to the northwest. The Round Church of St. Bernard in Spa (San Bernardo alle Terme) was built in the sixteenth century of the four corners of the wall.

The two axes of the floor in the form of a Greek cross, with four side chapels, are related to the ancient basilica with pool titled frigidarium, the caldarium and tepidarium baths. The central floor was erected two meters for dry keep the inside, so that part of the column disappeared under the floor being replaced by other structures.

Several restorations and extensive renovation in 1749 by Vanvitelli, when transformed the central hall a transept, difficult today to realize the original concept of Michelangelo. However, the monolithic columns of red granite and the mighty dome that towers over the current transept give some idea of ​​how the baths were in antiquity.

via 500px