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Cappella delle Vascette is a 19th century school chapel located at the Piazza delle Vaschette in the rione Borgo.

History Edit

The Scuola Pontificia Pio IX was founded on the orders of Pope Pius IX in 1859. It was intended for the boys of the Borgo which, back then was a heavily populated neighbourhood with narrow streets. See Sacro Cuore di Gesù della Scuola Pontificia Pio IX.

Surprisingly, this was the first direct involvement of the papal government in the education of the ordinary people of the city. Beforehand, the policy was only to worry about the education of the nobility -this seriously harmed the interests of the Holy See in the long run, and Pope Pius had the wisdom to begin to discern this.

Even more surprisingly, he made provision for the education of girls in the same initiative. This resulted in the Scuola delle Fanciulle ("School for Young Women"), later known as the Istituto Sant'Agnese. This was given its own purpose-built complex, including a chapel. The architect was Andrea Busiri Vici.

For the project, an entire city block was cleared. The ranges of the complex occupied three sides of this, but the fourth was left as a garden opening onto the street. This was a first for the Borgo, which was very closely packed with no open spaces.

The Università LUMSA was founded in 1939, and took over the complex. (The acronym stands for Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta.) It remains the headquarters, although the University now has several other buildings on separate sites, and the chapel is the centre of chaplaincy activities.

Apperance Edit

The chapel has no external identity. It occupies part of the entrance range, where three round-headed windows with stained glass indicate its location.

The interior is richly decorated. It is a rectangular room, with a semi-circular sanctuary apse. The walls are rendered in yellow fake marbling, with Doric pilasters in dark green imitating verde antico and tondi showing portraits of saints. The coffered ceiling has a central panel showing the Eye of God on an empyrean background.

The altar aedicule is a white marble shrine containing a statue of the Immaculate Conception, on a starry background.

External links Edit

University website

Info.roma web-page

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