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The Tempietto within a narrow courtyard.
Francesco Baratta.
Saint Francis in Ecstasy, c.
Raimondi Chapel, San Pietro in Montorio.
San Pietro in Montorio is a church in Romemarker, which includes in its courtyard The Tempietto (a small commemorative martyriummarker) built by Donato Bramante.


The church of San Pietro in Montorio was built on the site of an earlier ninth-century church dedicated to St. Peter on Rome'smarker Janiculummarker hill. Commissioned by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, it marks a traditional location of St. Peter's crucifixion.

The church's current Cardinal-Protector is James Francis Cardinal Stafford, since 1 March 2008.

Church interior

The church is decorated with artworks by prominent sixteenth and seventeenth-century masters.

The first chapel on the right contains Sebastiano del Piombo's Flagellation and Transfiguration (1516–1524). Michelangelo, who had befriended Sebastiano in Rome, supplied figure drawings that were incorporated into the Flagellation.

The second chapel has a fresco by Niccolò Circignani (1654) (il Pomarancio), some Renaissance frescoes from the school of Pinturrichio, and an allegorical sibyl and virtue attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi.

The fourth chapel has a ceiling fresco by Giorgio Vasari. Although there is no grave marker, tradition has it that Beatrice Cenci—executed in 1599 for the murder of her abusive father and made famous by Percy Bysshe Shelley, among others—is buried either in this chapel or below the high altar.

The ceiling of the fifth chapel contains another fresco, the Conversion of St. Paul, by Vasari. The altarpiece is attributed to Giulio Mazzoni, while the funerary monument of Cardinal del Monte and Roberto Nobili are by Bartolomeo Ammannati.
Till 1797, Raphael's final masterpiece, the Transfiguration graced the high altar; it is now in the Vatican pinacoteca. The altar currently displays a copy by Cammuccini of Guido Reni's Crucifixion of St. Peter (also now in Vatican museum).

The last chapel on the left contains a Baptism of Christ, attributed to Daniele da Volterra, and stucco-work and ceiling frescoes by Giulio Mazzoni.

A pupil of Antoniazzo Romano frescoed the third chapel with the Saint Anne, Virgin, and Child.

Dirck van Baburen, a central figure of the Dutch Caravaggisti, painted the Entombment for the Pietà Chapel, which is indebted to Caravaggio's example. Baburen worked with another Dutch artist, David de Heen in this chapel. The two other paintings, The Mocking of Christ and The Agony in the Garden are variously attributed to either or both of the artists.

The second chapel on the left, the Raimondi Chapel (1640), was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It includes Francesco Baratta's "Saint Francis in Ecstasy" and sculptures by Andrea Bolgi and Niccolò Sale.

Irish Princes' Tombs

At the high altar are the tombs of Gaelic Chieftains Hugh O'Neill, The O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone and Prince Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, who fled Ireland in 1607.

The tombs are normally covered by a carpet. When facing the altar the tombs are on the left about 12 feet from the altar. The inscription on the tomb of Hugh O'Neill is still visible, and reads "Hugonis Principis Onelli".

The inscription on the tomb of Rory O'Donnell, once exposed by raising the carpet, refers also to his brother, Cathbharr, and their elder brother Red Hugh O'Donnell.The tombstone of Hugh O'Neill was recorded in the past as being of greater simplicity: D.O.M. Hic . quiescunt . Ugonis . principis . O'Neill . ossa .

The Tempietto

The Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio is a small commemorative martyriummarker built by Donato Bramante, possibly as early as 1502, in the courtyard of San Pietro in Montorio. It is considered a masterpiece of High Renaissance architecture.

After spending his first years in Milanmarker, Bramante moved to Rome, where he was recognized by Cardinal Guiliano della Rovere, the soon-to-be Pope Julius II. One of Bramante's earliest commissions, the "Tempietto" is one of the most harmonious buildings of the Renaissance. It is meant to mark the traditional spot of St. Peter's martyrdom.

With all the transformations of Renaissance and Baroque Rome that were to follow, it is hard to sense now what an apparition this building was in beginning of the sixteenth century. It is almost a piece of sculpture, for it has little architectonic use. The building absorbed much of Brunelleschi's style. Perfectly proportioned, it is composed of slender Tuscan columns, a Doric entablature modeled after the ancient Theater of Marcellus, and a dome. According to an engraving in Sebastiano Serlio's Book III, Bramante planned to set it in within a colonnaded courtyard, but this plan was never executed.


  1. The Fate and Fortunes of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O'Donel, Earl of Tyrconnel; their flight from Ireland, and death in exile, by the Rev. C.P. Meehan, M.R.I.A., 2nd edition, published by James Duffyy, Dublin and London, 1870 (Appendix)

External links

  • Satellite Photo The Tempietto is the circular dome in the center, enclosed tightly by the cloister of San Pietro in Montorio. Just west is the white hemicircle of the Acqua Paola.

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