Monday, 13 May 2013

Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

In view of the momentous visit planned for the afternoon of Monday 22nd April we decided to take the morning gently visiting some of the churches of Trastevere which lies on the same side of the Tiber but to the south of the Vatican. First was Santa Cecilia. Tradition has it that the basilica was built on the site of the house of the saint's family and it was here that her relics were brought from their original resting place in the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus. Under the altar is seen the famous sculpture by Stefano Maderno which depicts the body of Saint Cecilia as found when her tomb was opened in the sixteenth century. Somewhat appropriately, in the church of the patron saint of music, we arrived to find a lady playing the organ!
There are some notable mosaics in the apse and, I believe too that there are some impressive frescoes by Pietro Cavallini associated with the church but- unable to find them during our visit- I thought I had been mistaken in expecting them.

One famous holder of the title of Santa Cecilia was none other than Thomas Cardinal Wolsey Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of England.

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