The Chapel

A grand stately home always has an intimate space reserved for prayer, an island of spirituality where the members of the family would have been able to seek refuge, finding solace in the silence required by the necessities of worship. In the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj this place is the enchanting chapel designed by Carlo Fontana between 1689 and 1691, though over the centuries it has been remodelled and embellished a number of times. In the mid-19th century, Tommaso Minardi, the purist painter who was artistic advisor to Filippo Andrea Doria Pamphilj V, frescoed the vault with his Crowning of the Virgin. On the ceiling of the antechapel the false perspective monochrome decoration creates the illusion of the ceiling being domed, making it seem that the whole space is being projected towards the divine.

The chapel and antechapel of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj house a number of interesting relics. Amongst these are the perfectly preserved remains of St. Theodora, who according to legend was saved from flames when they divided in front of her by divine intervention. Another reliquary case, below the altar, contains the relics of a martyred saint known as the “Centurion”, who it is said was one of the Imperial Roman guards present at the crucifixion of Jesus.

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