The church of Santa Maria dell' Anima, which is the national church of the Germans, was consecrated in 1543. The sculpture of the Madonna Between Two Souls in Purgatory, above the main door, is a copy of work attributed to Andrea Sansovino (c. 1467-1529); the original is kept in the sacristy. The inscription on the facade proclaims: TEMPLVM · BEATE · MARIE · DE · ANIMA · HOSPITALIS · TEVTONICORVM · M · D · XIIII(Temple of the Blessed Mary of the soul and of the hospice of the Germans 1514).
The church's campanile (bell tower), with its poly-chromatic spire, is one of the most striking in Rome. It was designed by Sansovino and is crowned with a bronze double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Hapsburg Empire. The latter was added in the 19th century.
The interior of Santa Maria dell' Anima takes the form of a style of church known as a Hallenkirche, where the aisles are the same height as the nave.
In the first two chapels, on either side of the church, are two fine paintings by Carlo Saraceni (1579-1620), a Venetian artist who worked most of his life in Rome.
The sumptuous decoration of the sanctuary is by Paolo Posi (1708-76). The painting of the Holy Family with Saints (1522), over the high altar, is the work of Giulio Romano (c.1499-1546), a pupil of Raphael. The sanctuary is the final resting place of Pope 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). His funerary monument was designed by Baldassare Peruzzi (1481-1536), with sculptures by Michelangelo Senese and Niccolò Tribolo. An inscription laments: PROH DOLOR QVANTVM REFERET IN QVAE TEMPORA VEL OPTIMI CVIVSQVE VIRTVS INCIDAT (Alas, how important, even for the best of men, are the times in which he finds himself). Adrian VI, and the even shorter-reigning Marcellus II (r. April 9th-May 1st, 1555), are the only popes of the modern era to have retained their own names.
On the opposite side of the sanctuary is the funerary monument to Karl Friedrich of Jülich Cleves Berg, who died in 1575. This monument was designed by Albert Pighius with sculptures by Nicolas Mostaert and Gillis van den Vliete. The former sculptor is known in Italian as Niccolò Fiammingo or Niccolò Pippi d'Arras and the latter as Egidio de le Riviere.