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Cappella di Villa Giuseppina is a later 20th century hospital chapel at Via Prospero Colonna 46 in the Portuense quarter.

History Edit

The "Handmaids of Charity" (Ancelle della Carità) were founded in 1830 at Brescia by St Maria Crocifissa di Rosa. The headquarters of the congregation remain in that city.

In 1910, the congregation opened a psychiatric hospital ("lunatic asylum", in the language of the times) at Villa Giuseppina on the Via Nomentana -very near the Cappella della Casa Generalizia delle Suore Orsoline dell'Unione Romana. This answered a serious need in the rapidly growing city.

The institute moved to its present site in the Portuense quarter in 1960. It remains locally important in its field, and has its facilities expanded in recent years.

Exterior Edit

The complex is large, with several conjoined multi-storey blocks arranged around three enclosed courtyards as well as two long wings and several ancillary buildings. It is in an attractive parkland setting, with many mature trees.

The chapel abuts the far side of the main entrance lobby, and is itself abutted by other structures. It has a rectangular plan, but the side walls are outwardly curved and there is a narrower trapezoidal sanctuary apse. The latter is apparently incorporated into a higher range abutting the chapel at the back.

The fabric is in reinforced concrete, with a double-pitched roof in a grey composition having a central lantern. The ridgeline slopes down from the lantern at front and back, and there is a hip over the latter.

The façade above the entrance lobby is occupied by a row of thirteen closely spaced vertical slit windows, of equal height so that a false pediment is created between them and the gable above.

The side walls have two window strips, one below the eaves and the other about halfway up.

Interior Edit

The interior is mostly in white, and is very simple. The floor is in red marble, and the side walls of the trapezoidal apse is in green. The window strips have stained glass in an abstract design involving rectangles.

The apse contains a large polychrome painted crucifix of traditional design. Statues of Our Lady and St John the Evangelist are on brackets in the far wall flanking the apse.

External links Edit

Institution's website

Congregations's website

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