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Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli

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Church of Holy Mary in Monserrato of the Spaniards
Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli (Italian)
Santa María de Montserrat de los Españoles (Spanish)
S. Mariae Hispanorum in Monte Serrato (Latin)
Regola - SantaMaria di Monserrato 00442-5.JPG

Façade of the church of Holy Mary in Monserrato of the Spaniards, National Church in Rome of Spain.

Basic information
Location Italy Rome
Geographic coordinates 41°53′45.40″N 12°28′08.69″E / 41.895944°N 12.4690806°E / 41.895944; 12.4690806Coordinates: 41°53′45.40″N 12°28′08.69″E / 41.895944°N 12.4690806°E / 41.895944; 12.4690806
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Year consecrated 1594
Ecclesiastical status Rectory church, National Church in Rome of Spain
Website Official website
Architectural description
Architect(s) Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, Bernardino Valperga, Francesco da Volterra
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Baroque
Direction of facade NE
Year completed 1598
Length 40 metres (130 ft)
Width 14 metres (46 ft)

The Spanish National Church of Santiago and Montserrat, known as Church of Holy Mary in Monserrat of the Spaniards (Italian: Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli, Spanish: Santa María de Montserrat de los Españoles, Latin: S. Mariae Hispanorum in Monte Serrato) is a Roman Catholic titulus church and National Church in Rome of Spain, dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat. The current Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Mariae Hispanorum in Monte Serrato is Carlos Amigo Cardinal Vallejo[1].


The present church was founded in 1803-1807, by uniting the staff of two different churches, the 15th century church of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli in Piazza Navona, which at the time was crumbling, and that of Santa Maria in Monserrato, which from medieval times had served and housed mainly indigent Spanish pilgrims to Rome. Many of the works from San Giacomo degli Spagnoli were also transferred to the latter.


The church was initially designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and work proceeded over centuries under the direction, among others, of Bernardino Valperga and Francesco da Volterra. The site was chosen in 1518, the façade by da Volterra being erected 1582-1593, the altar consecrated in 1594, and the roof finished in 1598. The apse was completed only in 1675, when a new main altar was consecrated. The external sculptural group (1673-1675) was executed by Giovanni Battista Contini. A complete renovation took place from 1818-1822.


Regola - s M Monserrato tomba Borgia 1050567

The Borja tomb

The frescoes of Dormition of the Virgin (1683) over the main right central Chapel are by Francesco Nappi, while on the left is a Coronation of the Virgin (1627) by Giovanni Battista Ricci. In the niches above the lateral doors are statues of two Aragonese saints (1816), St. Isabel of Portugal and St. Peter Arbués, by the Aragonese sculptor Juan Adàn.

Dedicated to Saint Filippo and Saint Nicola, the first chapel to the right, built in 1590, contains a canvas of Saint Diego of Alcantara by Annibale Carracci. To the right is a mausoleum (1889) of the Borgia popes Calixtus III and Alexander VI, by Felipe Moratilla. Below is the now-empty cenotaph for the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, whose remains were repatriated in 1980 and placed in the royal mortuary of the Escorial. On the left is the neoclassic monument (1862) completed by the Catalan sculptor Antonio Solà and José Vilches. The second chapel on the right has works by Francesco Nappi, including the Annunciation altarpiece and the wall frescoes of the Birth and Assumption of the Virgin. The tombs of Spanish ambassadors to Rome are below. The altarpiece of the third Chapel to the right depicting the Virgin of the Pilar (1789) was painted by Francisco Preciado de la Vega, The canvas of the Assumption (1551) was painted by Francesco da Città by Castello, while the Triumph of the Immaculate Conception (1663) was painted by Louis Cousin, also known as Luigi Primo.

In the center of the presbytery's apse is the canvas of The Crucifixion (1564-1565), painted by Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta.

The third Chapel to the left contains Jacopo Sansovino's statue of the "St. James the Great" (patron of Spain), moved here in 1882. It had been commissioned by the cardinal Jaime Serra I Cau (c. 1517) for his chapel in Santiago, Spain. Nearby is the tomb of the bishops Alfonso de Paradinas and Juan de Fuensalida (1503) attributed to Andrea Bregno. Ceded to Tomàs Gargall, bishop of Malta, in 1614, the second chapel to the left is dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat and has a modern copy of this iconic image by Manuel Martì Cabrer. The lateral walls are frescoed with "the navigation of Saint Raymond of Peñafort" and an allegorical "Sacred mountain". The four evangelists on the arches and the frescoed scenes below scene attributed a Giovanni Battista Ricci. The 18th century stuccowork is by Francesco Bizzaccheri. In the first chapel to the left, the "Anne, Virgin, and Jesus" was sculpted in 1544 by Tommaso Boscoli. The right column has a Tabernacle of Saints attributed to the Milanese Luigi Capponi. On the right wall, the neoclassic monument to the former Spanish ambassador Josè Narciso Aparici Soler, who died in Rome in 1845.

The bust of Cardinal Pedro de Foix Montoya, a benefactor of the church, is one of the early works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, made in 1621 [2].


Cardinal-priests of Holy Mary in Monserrato of the Spaniards since 2003


  1. Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations (Consistory of October 21, 2003), Assignment of the Titles or The Deaconries to the New Cardinals
  2. Arthur Lubow, Bernini's Genius, Smithsonian magazine, October 2008.
ca:Església de Santa Maria de Montserrat dels Espanyols

cs:Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnolipt:Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli

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