Sant'Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine

Edit profile
Sant'Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine

Sant'Apollinare alle Terme is a titular church in Rome, Italy, dedicated to Apollinare, the first bishop of Ravenna.


The church was founded in the early Middle Ages, probably in the 7th century. It is first mentioned in the Liber Pontificalis under Pope Hadrian I, using spolia from the ruins of an imperial building. The first priests who served the church were probably eastern Basilian monks who had fled from persecution during the iconoclast period.

The elliptical Chapel of Graces, which is outside the church proper, is accessed through a doorway on the left. It contains a 1494 fresco of The Virgin, Queen of Apostles which, survived the Sack of Rome because the priests had covered it with lime and was then rediscovered in 1645 when two boys and a soldier took refuge in the church during an earthquake. A marble frame with golden stucco cherubs was added by Peter Anton von Verschaffelt.

It is listed in the Catalogue of Turin as a papal chapel with eight clerics and in 1574 was granted to the Jesuits by Pope Gregory XIII, and it was used as the church of the next-door Collegium Germanicum in the Palazzo di Sant'Apollinare (now owned by the Roman Seminary), which was later united with the Hungarian College to form the Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum. This remained a Jesuit institution until the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, when this church passed to the Lazarists.

In the meantime, in 1742, Pope Benedict XIV had commissioned Ferdinando Fuga to rebuild the church. Fuga added a new façade in the late 16th century style, with Baroque elements. It has two stories, with Ionic columns in the lower and Corinthian ones in the upper. The lower level has a central doorway flanked by windows. Above the door is a triangular tympanon. On the upper level is a large central window with a balcony, and two smaller windows to the sides. The façade is crowned by a double tympanon. Fuga also reconstructed the dome. The church as a whole was rededicated in 1748.

Francesco Antonio Zaccaria, writer and archaeologist, who died in 1795, was buried in the Chapel of St Ignatius of Loyola here.

In 1990, the church was granted to the Opus Dei, and is now part of their Pontifical Institute of St Apollinaris. In the same year, the notorious gangster Enrico De Pedis, boss of the so-called Banda della Magliana, was buried in the church's crypt, by authorization of Cardinal Ugo Poletti. The unusual interment has been linked to the case of Emanuela Orlandi's kidnapping.

It is the station church for Thursday fifth week in Lent.


The church has a single nave. Along the side are pilasters with Corinthian capitals holding the arches to the side chapels. In the barrel-vaulted ceiling is a fresco of The Glory of St Apollinaris, by Stefano Pozzi.

The high altar was made on orders from Pope Benedict XIV, with stucco decorations by Bernardino Ludovisi and an early 17th century altarpiece depicting St Apollinaris' Consecration as Bishop of Ravenna. The crypt contains relics.

  • Churches of Rome Wiki

Coordinates: 41°54′3.2″N 12°28′25″E / 41.900889°N 12.47361°E / 41.900889; 12.47361