The bell tower of Santa Maria dell' Anima, with its striking poly chromatic spire, is one of the most beautiful in Rome; it is also one of the most difficult to see from the ground.
The bell tower and church were built in the 16th century. The campanile is crowned with a double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Holy Roman Emperor.
Santa Maria dell' Anima is the final resting place of Adrian VI (r. 1522-23), a Dutchman from Utrecht who was the last non-Italian pope until the election, almost 500 years later, of John Paul II (r. 1978-2005).
Adrian VI and the even shorter reigning Marcellus II (r. April 9th-May 1st, 1555) are the only popes of the modern era to retain their baptismal names after their election.
Santa Maria dell' Anima, which is the national church of the Germans, is the only example in Rome of a Hallenkirche, a style of church in which the aisles are the same height and width as the nave.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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