Cappella della Curia Generalizia Cistercensi Trappisti is a later 20th century convent chapel at Viale Africa 33 in the EUR quarter.

The chapel is private, but there is a good view of it from the street.

History Edit

The Trappist Cistercians (properly called "Cistercians of the Strict Observance") are a monastic order, which means that the unit of administration is the individual monastery not the Order as such or any congregation of which it is made up. However, like other monastic orders it maintains a central headquarters at Rome. This is not a monastery in its own right, apparently, but is staffed by monks and nuns lent by monasteries elsewhere. This "Curia Generalate" is under the authority of an Abbot General, elected by the superiors of the independent monasteries.

The Trappists have a much more high-profile presence at Rome in their nearby abbey of Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio alle Tre Fontane.

The convent was built in the Fifties, but the chapel looks later. It used to contain a house of studies for the Order, but this is apparently defunct owing to a collapse in vocations worldwide and the functions of the Curia are now mostly administrative.

Appearance Edit

The convent is an awesomely ugly mismatched hotch-potch of disparate design elements in the Modernist style, making up a three-storey block on an L-shaped plan. The chapel is a separate edifice, but abutting the main building at its frontage. It is much better quality as architecture.

The plan is based on a Greek cross with very short arms. The near arm comprises the antechamber leading from the convent. The fabric is apparently a concrete frame, with infill in brown tufo stone blocks.

The roof is in grey tiles. The cross arms have their own very short gabled pitches, but the main roof has four pitches in the shape of diapered squares coming together in the form of a low pyramid. There is no central lantern.

The far wall is mostly taken up by an enormous rectangular window reaching to ground level, with thin strips of wall at the corners widening at the bottom where the corners of the window are incut. Above this window, the gable forms a false pediment in white which contains an equilateral triangular window.

The ends of the cross arms have an obtuse angle, resulting in two adjacent wall faces. Each of these has a horizontally stretched octagonal window below the roofline, and a smaller vertically stretched one below it. These have conjoined wide white frames.

External links Edit

Generalate's web-page

Info.roma web-page

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