Santissimo Crocifisso nel Cimitero di Santo Spirito is an 18th century demolished Baroque cemetery chapel that used to be just to the north-west of the present junction between the Via del Gianicolo and Via Urbano VIII, in the extreme north of Trastevere.

The dedication was to the Holy Crucifix.


It was a mortuary chapel 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.

The cemetery was closed in 1891, when its main church of Santa Maria del Rosario nel Cimitero di Santo Spirito was demolished and most of the human remains moved to Campo Verano. However, the architecture of the cemetery itself survived until the entire site was cleared in 1928 for a set of large administrative buildings for the the Collegio di Propaganda Fide. These are now the Pontificia Universitas Urbaniana.


The site is private, and generally inaccessible. If you do have access, the site of the church is just to the south-east of the ends of the two parallel wings of the main building, between these and the little elliptical grassed area with trees where the drive divides.


A line drawing of 1850 by one Thomas survives.

The entrance to the cemetery was by the main church, and a walkway walled on both sides ran south-west to a portico. The cemetery itself was walled as a large rectangular enclosure, with the portico on one short side and an apsidal curve in the wall on the opposite side. The chapel was set into the apex of this curve. The walls of the enclosure were divided up to form a series of arched aedicules containing pious reliefs.

The cemetery was nicknamed Centocinque sepolture.

The chapel itself was a small edifice on an elliptical plan, almost circular and with a tiny transverse rectangular apse with a triumphal arch. There was a saucer dome on a low drum, with no lantern but a cross finial. The entrance was through a propylaeum having a tall archway flanked by a pair of Doric pilasters which supported a triangular pediment.

External linksEdit


Nolli map (look for 1235)

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