Chiesa di S. Bernardo alle Terme (Book 7) (Day 2) (Map A2) (Rione Monti)
S. Bernardo is one of the additional smaller plates Vasi added to
the standard 20 plates of a book. Alle Terme refers to the Terme
(Baths) of Diocleziano. The church is part of this complex. The view is taken from the green dot in the 1748 map below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) S. Bernardo;
2) Strada Pia.
The only change one notices is the disappearance of the little dome. Strada Pia, the street opened in the XVIth century by Pius IV to link Palazzo del Quirinale with Porta Pia is now called Via XX Settembre (1870).
The church is one of the rooms where Romans had hot steam baths (calidaria), or more likely, as it is far from the central area of the baths, a room used for playing ball games (sphaeristerium) or just having a rest. It is a small Pantheon like building situated at one of the corners of the immense Baths (as you can see in my background). A few steps in the narrow road on the flank of the church allow one to see the huge brick walls which have survived to the year 2000. The hexagonal decoration of the vault of the church is a reminder of the vaults of Tempio della Pace (Basilica of Maxentius).
Pius IX restored the church and is honoured in one of the side entrances.
The Papal coat of arms is between the two lower levels in ecclesiastical
hierarchy: the Cardinal (left) and the Bishop (right).
Go to or to Book 7 or to the Plan of my site or to my Home Page on Baroque Rome or to my Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller.