Sant'Agata dei Goti

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Façade and portal from 1729 in Via Mazzarino

Sant'Agata dei Goti ( Latin Sanctae Agathae (sita) in Suburra , also called Sant'Agata in Subura ) is a church in Rome . It is the titular church of a cardinal deacon and stands on the eastern slope of the Viminal in the ancient district of Subura , today Rione Monti , where Via Mazarino and Via Panisperna intersect.

Building history

5th century apse with 7th century retaining walls, visible from Via dei Serpenti
Atrium of Sant'Agata dei Goti

The surviving apse inscription shows that the Western Roman consul Flavius ​​Ricimer (approx. 405–472), an Arian Ostrogoth with the title magister utriusque militiae , had an existing early Christian church decorated with a mosaic between 459 and 470 . In the specialist literature it is thought possible that he was also the founder of this church for the Arian congregation in Rome, which predominantly belonged to Goths . The church was known until the end of the 6th century ecclesia Gothorum and had Christ the Savior as patronage . According to a report in the Liber Pontificalis (I 262), Pope Symmachus (498-514) had a baptistery set up there. Under Pope Gregory the Great (590–604), the church was added to the Catholic cult in 592 and re-consecrated as ecclesia sanctae Agathae sita in Subura ; at the same time she received relics of St. Mary, who died as a martyr in Catania around 250 . Agatha . At the end of the 6th century, the enormous outer walls of the apse had to be supported by buttresses . In the 7th century the church is mentioned in the Salzburg itinerary as basilica quae appelatur Agatae .

The campanile dates from the 12th century. In 1729, Francesco Ferrari built the new church facade and atrium ; in the atrium there is a 16th century fountain and a lapidarium .


Interior with ciborium and floor in cosmatic work

The three-aisled basilica (30 × 16 m) has a semicircular apse facing northeast. The central nave is separated from the aisles by seven arcades each over spool columns made of red granite with Ionic capitals. The interior was well lit through large arched windows over the arcades and two windows in the apse (now walled up). The central nave and side aisles originally had an open roof .

The mosaic donated by Flavius ​​Ricimer in the apse (around 470) was destroyed in 1589 when the apse vault collapsed. The theme is known from descriptions and contemporary drawings: Christ (with speech gesture and book) enthroned in the middle on a globe ; the twelve apostles approach from both sides , led by Peter (with key in veiled hands) and Paul (with scroll). Underneath was the traditional foundation inscription.

The ciborium above the main altar and the floor are cosmatic works of the 12th / 13th centuries Century. The coffered ceiling from 1633 was donated by Cardinal Francesco Barberini ; she shows u. a. the three bees from the Barberini family coat of arms . In 1636/37 a thorough restoration was carried out by Cardinal Antonio Barberini . The frescoes from the same period show scenes from the legend of St. Agatha.

Little can be seen of the early Christian interior design since the baroque remodeling. In 1933 the presbytery was brought closer to the medieval model through restoration.

Cardinal deacons

The church is the title deaconry of Raymond Leo Burke , who took possession of it on February 5, 2011.


Web links

Commons : Sant'Agata dei Goti  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 41 ° 53 ′ 47.1 ″  N , 12 ° 29 ′ 21.6 ″  E

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hugo Brandenburg: The early Christian churches in Rome from the 4th to the 7th century. Regensburg 2013, p. 237f.
  2. Maria Andaloro: The churches of Rome. A tour in pictures. Medieval paintings in Rome 312–1431. Mainz 2008, p. 165.
  3. Hans Georg Wehrens: Rome - The Christian sacred buildings from the 4th to the 9th century. A vademecum . Freiburg 2016, pp. 275f.
  4. Cardinals take position fo Diaconate, Titular Churches , Vatican Information Services, VIS 20110201 (190)