Santa Maria del Popolo is one of the most significant buildings from Rome’s Renaissance, not only for its architectural elements, but also for the paintings and sculptures that make it a precious museum of Renaissance art.
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The church rised out of a small chapel built by the order of Pope Pasquale II at the expense of the Roman People (where it gets its name from) on the Domizi’s tombs, to chase out, according to the legends, Nerone’s ghost. It was more probably built as a thanksgiving for the conquest of Gerusalemme, upon the conclusion of the first Crociata.
Rised in the 1400s under Sisto IV, it was remodeled during the 1600s and it is related to Bramante, Sansovino, Pinturicchio, Mino Da Fiesole, Raffaello, Bernini and Caravaggio.
The interior, in three naves, with a Latin cross plan and cross vaults, shows the sober and proportioned scheme of the Cistercensi churches. In the pavement one finds numerous burial slabs, dating back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The chapels abund of funeral monuments and works of art.