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Basilica of Saint Cecilia in Trastevere

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 22, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Visit the Church of Santa Cecilia in Rome early in the morning to avoid the crowds and have a peaceful experience. Don't miss the underground crypt; it's less known to tourists but holds fascinating early Christian frescoes."

What is Church of Santa Cecilia?

The Church of Santa Cecilia is a beloved and historic church situated in the heart of Rome's Trastevere district. This church is not just a place of worship but a treasure trove of art and history, dedicated to the patron saint of music, Saint Cecilia. Unlike many other churches in Rome that often buzz with tourists, Santa Cecilia retains an air of tranquility and mystique, partly due to its somewhat hidden location amidst the narrow lanes of Trastevere. It stands as a testament to the faith and artistry of centuries past, inviting all who enter to step back in time and bask in its serene and spiritual atmosphere.

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History of Church of Santa Cecilia

Legend has it that the Church of Santa Cecilia was built over the home of St. Cecilia, an aristocratic woman who became a martyr in the early centuries of Christianity. Since its founding, the church has undergone several transformations, with its current form dating largely back to a 9th-century reconstruction under Pope Paschal I. However, it is the renovations of the late 16th and 18th centuries that contributed significantly to the church's present appearance, including the striking façade added in the 18th century. The church houses an exquisite statue of St. Cecilia by the late-Renaissance sculptor Stefano Maderno, which faithfully depicts the saint's body as it was found incorrupt in 1599—an event that still sparks amazement and devotion among visitors.

Why is Church of Santa Cecilia Important?

The Church of Santa Cecilia holds immense importance both as a place of historical significance and as a symbol of enduring faith. Its foundations are deeply entwined with the story of St. Cecilia, who is venerated as a symbol of the bond between the ethereal beauty of music and the divine. The church not only manifests religious and artistic significance through its construction and the relics it houses, but it also resonates with the story of Christian perseverance and martyrdom. Its crypt, where the remains of St. Cecilia were once kept, and the ancient artworks adorning its walls and ceilings, serve as a physical connection to the early Christian community in Rome and the traditions that shaped the faith over the millennia.

Things to Do & See at Church of Santa Cecilia

Entering the Church of Santa Cecilia is like walking through a gallery of religious art and history. One must-see is the aforementioned statue of Saint Cecilia, which captures the imagination with its delicate details and emotional power. Visitors can also delve below the church to visit the crypt, where frescoes and the atmosphere of early Christianity await. In addition, the stunning mosaics in the apse, depicting Christ and various saints, including Cecilia herself, are masterpieces of religious art, glowing with a transcendent beauty that speaks across centuries.

For those with a keen interest in architecture, the church's choir and the canopy over the altar, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, are standouts, showcasing the evolution of ecclesiastical design. And let's not forget about the acoustics—after all, this is a church dedicated to the patroness of music. Occasionally, the church hosts concerts, which are a rare opportunity to experience the blending of sacred space and sacred sound in a way that is undeniably uplifting and profoundly moving. Don't miss the chance to absorb the history that seeps from every corner of this remarkable church.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the Church of Santa Cecilia?

The Church of Santa Cecilia is a historical church in the Trastevere district of Rome, dedicated to the Roman martyr Saint Cecilia. It is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and the famous sculpture of Saint Cecilia by Stefano Maderno.

What are the main features of the Church of Santa Cecilia?

The Church of Santa Cecilia boasts several notable features including its stunning fifth-century mosaics, the ninth-century frescoes, and its baroque architecture. The church also has an underground crypt and a preserved Roman bath, which adds to its historical significance.

How do you get to the Church of Santa Cecilia?

The Church of Santa Cecilia is accessible by public transportation in Rome. Visitors can take various bus lines that stop in the vicinity of the Trastevere district, or they can walk from nearby landmarks. It is also a common stop on guided walking tours of the area.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the Church of Santa Cecilia?

The Church of Santa Cecilia is usually open to visitors for free, though there might be a fee to access certain areas such as the crypt or for guided tours. It is advisable to check the latest information before your visit for any changes in admission policies.

Are there any special events or services at the Church of Santa Cecilia?

The Church of Santa Cecilia hosts religious services, particularly on the feast day of Saint Cecilia on November 22nd. Additionally, the church may have concerts and special events throughout the year, often related to music, in honor of Saint Cecilia, the patroness of musicians.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 22, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps