Santa Maria di Loreto a Castelverde is a pair of churches side by side -a 21st century parish church standing next to its mid 20th century predecessor, at Via Santa Maria di Loreto 9. This in the suburban township of Castelverde di Lunghezza, south of the Strada dei Parchi and the old town of Lunghezza, and east of the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Circonvallazione Orientale). The suburban zone is Lunghezza.
The parish was erected in 1957, and initially occupied a small and simple church building without special architectural features.
However, a new church was begun on the same site in 2010 and consecrated in 2013. The architect was Roberto Panella.
The old church remains, and is apparently used as a ferial chapel.
The parish complex is right on the boundary of the diocese. Across the road is the territory of the diocese of Tivoli, and oddly the parish administers two public chapels there.
The plan of the old church is rectangular. The edifice is under one pitched roof, and has rendered side walls with small rectangular windows. The gabled façade is raised slightly higher than the main roof, and is of limestone random rubble with a statue of Our Lady of Loreto on the tip of the gable. The recessed entrance doorway is within a tall but narrow archway.
There is a square campanile attached to the left hand side of the façade, of the same random rubble but with the bell-chamber rendered. The soundholes are large and arched, and the pyramidal tiled cap is eaved.
The new church abuts the right hand side wall of the old one, touching near the façade but at a very slight angle.
The plan is irregular, basically rectangular but with a slightly bowed (concave) right hand side wall and with the façade receding to the left at an angle to the major axis. At the sanctuary end is a segmental apse.
The façade is complex. The main wall is rendered in a bluish grey, and has a flat roofline which has a slight slope from left to right. In it is a recessed portal of irregular shape, with the sides of unequal height (the right hand lower) and joined by a shallow assymetric curve. The wall within the portal is white, and has the actual rectangular entrance doorway. The doors have square glass panels in a grid, and are set within a white concrete frame surrounded by strips of window within a second frame. The assymetric motif is continued in this window surround, as it is wider on the left.
Above the roofline of the façade is a large clear glass window in a white concrete frame forming a Gothic arch. The window fenestration has a radial sector motif, with a centra stained glass panel containing a figure of Our Lady. The left hand curve of the frame of this window is actually the end of a raised roof section running the length of the church.
Finally, a curved concrete shell rises from the right hand side of the façade, over the window to terminate above its apex. The space between this and the right hand frame of the window is filled with glass.
The interior is all in white, except for the main ceilings which are in natural wood.
The Gothic arch motif of the façade is replicated at the sanctuary, which has an apse formed from a segment of a white cylinder. Above is a Gothic arch enclosing a wall with a central vertical oval window. This arch mirrors the window at the other end of the church, and the two are connected by a half-vault ceiling which is panelled with boards, has transverse ribs and also longitudinal planks forming coffers. This is to the left ,and to the right is a higher ceiling in the same style which is the underside of the concrete shell mentioned in the description of the façade.
Mass is celebrated (parish website, June 2018):
Sundays and Solemnities 8:00, 10:00, 11:30, 18:00.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament takes place:
Fridays 16:00 to 18:00; First Fridays 18:30 to 21:00. The late evening Exposition on First Saturdays is discontinued.
External Mass centres Edit
The parish administers one subsidiary church:
and two public chapels (which are actually in the diocese of Tivoli):