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Cappella del Collegio Stella Viae is a mid 20th century convent and college chapel located at Via Nomentana 325, which is in the Trieste quarter and near Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura.

The Latin name Stella Viae means "Star of the Way".

The chapel is private. It is just possible to get a glimpse of its dome from the street, near the gate numbered 327.

History Edit

The Religious of Jesus and Mary (Religiosi di Gesù-Maria) were founded in 1818 at Lyons in France by St Mary-of-St-Ignatius Thévenet, in order to give girls "an education conformable to their social position". This was one of very many active female teaching congregations founded in the 19th century.

The foundress is often referred to as "Claudine", which was her baptismal name.

The congregation transferred its Generalate (headquarters) to Rome in 1901 in response to anti-clerical action on the part of the government of Émile Combes, and was suppressed in France in 1904. The policy of the government was to exclude Catholic religious from public education. Initially the Generalate was on the Via Flaminia, at Santa Maria Addolorata a Tor di Quinto, and the congregation opened a large college for girls on the Via Nomentana.

The functions of these two institutions have been reversed, as the Generalate has been moved to the Via Nomentana site. Part of the convent here is now a pilgrim and student hostel for women -the Collegio Stella Viae- and the school has been closed. The Via Flaminia complex is now a school, however, the Istituto Gesù Maria.

The chapel looks as if it was built in the mid 20th century, as part of an extension added to the back of the main convent.

Appearance Edit

The main convent is a large and rather grim early 20th century flat-roofed villa in a vaguely neo-Renaissance style, hiding behind a street frontage wall which has been raised in a slapdash manner to improve privacy. This edifice has a wing incorporating a belvedere tower, looking like a campanile.

The chapel is a large edifice at the back, standing at second-storey level over a wider ground storey. It is large, on a Greek cross pan with very short side arms and with walls rendered in a dull pink except for the side arms which are in white. The ends of these arms have a set of six very large rectangular windows, three above three.

The main roof is flat. There is a lower sanctuary apse, semi-circular with a pitched and tiled roof. The most interesting thing about the chapel is its large dome, which must be one of the most obscure in Rome. The fairly low drum is in creamy white, and contains thirty large vertical rectangular windows separated by blind piers. The actual dome is tiled, in six fairly low pitches. There is a pepper-pot lantern, with its own tiny tiled cap.

External links Edit

Congregation's website

Info.roma web-page

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