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Santa Maria della Concezione

Santa Maria della Concezione (35)

Architecturally, this Capuchin church is not of great interest. In 1626, Antonio Barberini, brother of Pope Urban VIII, founded this simple church in the Via Veneto. His intention was to produce a simple structure, far from the Baroque opulence of the time. 

However, if you go inside there are some pleasant surprises awaiting you. There you will find some interesting works such as the “Saint Michael trampling over the Devil” by Guido Reni or the “Christ ridiculed” by Gherardo Delle Notti.

Also, in the altar, beneath a simple tombstone, Antonio Barberini is buried, with an inscription that says: “Here lies nothing more than dust and ashes”.

Despite the above, the majority of visitors come here for another reason: the crypt. Some 4,000 friars are buried here. The fact is that generation after generation of Capuchins has decorated the spot with the bones and skulls of their deceased brothers. Some of the bones are joined to form religious symbols such as crosses or crowns of thorns. 

It is without doubt a rather macabre spot, but nevertheless quite fascinating. Don’t forget to take a warm jacket though if you are thinking of going down into the crypt.  

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