Santa Maria del Rosario nel Cimitero di Santo Spirito is a demolished church that used to be where the Piazza della Rovere is now, on the north side of the east end of the Via del Gianicolo near the river.


It was the mortuary church by the gate of the cemetery of the Ospedale di Santo Spirito, and was founded by Pope Benedict XIV in 1744. This was in the context of that pope's massive re-ordering of the hospital, which included the provision of a new cemetery away from the hospital buildings. The architect of the entire layout was Ferdinando Fuga.

A confraternity of the same name was established here to pray the Rosary for the dead.

The cemetery was closed in 1891, and the human remains transferred to Campo Verano. The church was immediately demolished, although the cemetery layout survived for another thirty years. This layout included a little chapel, Santissimo Crocifisso nel Cimitero di Santo Spirito.


Before the late 19th century, if you left the Borgo by the Porta Santo Spirito and turned right at the corner of the walls, you would be going west on a wide road or promenade called the Bastioni di Santo Spirito. This only went as far as where this line of wall joined the city walls. Off it ran the Via del Gianicolo, which back then was a dead-end lane only running as far as the Villa Lante. The church stood on the west hand side of the junction, with the gate to the cemetery adjacent to it on the north side.

Nowadays, Via Urbano VIII runs north from where the present Via del Gianicolo turns north-east to run down to the Piazza delle Rovere. It head into an underground car park, but on the western side before this you will see an impressive set of gates with ball finials on the piers. The church was located next to the south pier.


No information has been found as regards the appearance of this church.

Of the church's furnishings it was noted that a macchina or stand for 150 candles (the entire Rosary entails this number of Hail Marys) was by Bernini.

External linksEdit

"Romeartlover" web-page Armellini, p. 657

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