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 Essential Architecture-  ROME

Tempietto of San Pietro


Donato Bramante


Montorio, Rome, Italy




Italian Rennaisance


masonry. Round, domed, colonnaded. 


martyrium Church
  Tempietto, San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, 1502: the High Renaissance began here.

The Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio is a small church built by Donato Bramante in Rome, for Pope Julius II, in 1502. The Tempietto is a cardinal masterpiece of High Renaissance architecture.

After spending his first years in Milan, Bramante moved to Rome, where he was soon recognized by Cardinal Della Rovere, soon to become Pope Julius II.

The Tempietto in Andrea Palladio's Quattro Libri (woodcut, 1570).
For Julius, almost as if it were a trial piece on approval, Bramante designed one of the most harmonious buildings of the Renaissance: the Tempietto (1502, possibly later) of San Pietro in Montorio on the Janiculum. The sanctuary was commissioned by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and marks the spot in Rome where, according to tradition, Saint Peter was crucified. 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 1502. It is almost a piece of sculpture, for it has little architectonic use, like a banquet table centerpiece made large. Despite its small scale the construction has all the grandeur and rigorous conformity of a Classical building. Perfectly proportioned, it is surrounded by slender Tuscan columns and surmounted by a dome. Bramante planned to set it in within a colonnaded courtyard to complete the scenery, but larger plans were afoot.

The church contains paintings by various 16th and 17th century masters, including Sebastiano del Piombo, Vasari and Theodore van Baburen, and the Raymondi Chapel by Bernini. At the High Altar are the sarcophagus of Beatrice Cenci, executed in 1599 for the murder of her father, and the tombs of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and three other Irish rebels forced to flee Ireland in 1607.[1]

The Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Petri in Monte Aureo is Aloísio Lorscheider.




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.