San Cipriano is a later 20th century parish church with a postal address at Via di Torrevecchia 169, in the suburb of Torrevecchia which is part of the Primavalle quarter. The main entrance faces the Largo Millesimo.

The patron saint is Cyprian of Carthage.

History Edit

The parish was erected in 1957, but had to wait for its permanent church. This was designed by Alberto Ressa, and built in a Modernist style in 1975.

In 2001, the altar was brought forward into the nave and the former sanctuary converted into a ferial chapel.

Exterior Edit

Layout Edit

The plan is based on an elliptical octagon, with the major axis from entrance to altar. The far side of this octagon is entirely occupied by a square extension which was originally the sanctuary but is now the ferial chapel. Behind this in turn is a transverse rectangular cloister of the same width, which itself attaches to the right hand one of two conjoined ancillary blocks behind the church. These are flat-roofed, of two storeys, and are at an obtuse angle to each other.

The near diagonal sides of the octagon have two external chapels which are pentagonal in plan. These occupy the near part of each side.

Fabric Edit

The fabric consists of a reinforced concrete frame, with infill in pink brick. The brickwork of the exterior walls is laid with certain bricks slightly protruding, so as to give a pattern like the rungs of a ladder.

The church has a structural aisle running round its entire octagon. This is much lower than the central body of the edifice, and has a flat concrete roof. The two longitudinal sides of the octagon are slightly displaced outwards from the strict geometric form, to make space for window strips at the corners. These light two side altars.

The central body amounts to a squat octagonal tower, with a square extension of the same height over the sanctuary. These two elements share the same roof, in a black composition. This has eight low pitches over the octagon, and a single low pitch running down to the back over the square. The walls of the tower are entirely windowless, except for two enormous stained glass windows which occupy the entire front and back sides.

Façade Edit

The pentagonal side chapels are also windowless, except for a small rectangular window in each far side. Their roofs are one with the entrance canopy, an enormous flat concrete slab over the porch which occupies the space between the chapels. This contains five doors, three for the church and one for each chapel. These have transom windows occupying the space between them and the roof, and are separated by brick piers in the same style as the exterior walls.

Interior Edit

Layout Edit

The former baptistery is in the pentagonal chapel to the left of the entrance, but the font was moved to the sanctuary in the 2001 re-ordering.

On entering, you find yourself in a lobby which is the near transverse part of the church's aisle. This runs down both sides of the octagonal nave, with each side containing an altar. The sanctuary is now in the far part of the nave, with the ferial chapel (also created in 2001) behind it.

Fabric Edit

The aisle is separated from the main body of the nave by eight squat piers in light grey reinforced concrete, joined to each other (except at the sanctuary) by horizontal beams of one part with them. The upper corners of the rectangular portals thus created are chamfered. The piers themselves are not rectangular, but each has an oblique angle.

These horizontal beams bear the church's set of the Stations of the Cross, on octagonal panels evoking the church's plan.

The interior walls are in the same pink brick and in the same patterning as those outside. The brickwork conceals the roof support piers above the horizontal aisle portal trabeation beams.

The roof dominates the interior. It is in rough dark-grey concrete, with eight radial slab-beams in the form of a star. These have horizontal lower surfaces, so increase in depth as they approach the midpoint The are deep and thin, and each has three circular cut-out apertures which also increase in size towards the midpoint.

The huge square windows over the entrance and the back of the sanctuary contain interesting modern stained glass depicting "Night" and "Day" respectively.

Sanctuary Edit

The new (2001) sanctuary stands on a platform with two steps in the shape of an irregular hexagon, the far side of which is fitted against the free-standing screen separating the ferial chapel (the former sanctuary) from the main body of the church. This screen is a simple white surface with no other decoration except a molded cornice, and has two obliquely angled side panels occupying two sides of the hexagon. The seating of the sanctuary ministers is against it. Flanking the screen, behind the side panels, are two more screens consisting of square lattices containing glass bricks.

The baptismal font is on an extension of the platform to the right, which has one step.

There is an icon in Byzantine style of St Cyprian, on the right hand pier behind the sanctuary.

The Blessed Sacrament chapel is at the far end of the right hand aisle, and has the tabernacle in front of a stained glass window evoking the Fire of the Holy Spirit.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 9:00, 18:30;

Sundays and Solemnities 8:30, 10:00, 11:30, 18:30.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Beweb web-page

Roman Despatches blog

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