nave, Santa Maria sopra Minerva church, Rome, Italy

- Image ID: DC9RYM
nave, Santa Maria sopra Minerva church, Rome, Italy
B.O'Kane / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: DC9RYM
Santa Maria sopra Minerva (English: Saint Mary above Minerva, Latin: Sancta Maria supra Minervam) is one of the major churches of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans. The church's name derives from the fact that the first Christian church structure on the site was built directly over (Latin: supra) the ruins or foundations of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, which had been erroneously ascribed to the Greco-Roman goddess Minerva. The Dominicans began building the present Gothic church in 1280 modelling it on their church in Florence Santa Maria Novella. In 1453 the church interior construction was finally completed when Cardinal Juan Torquemada ordered that the main nave be covered by a vault that reduced the overall projected height of the church. In the same year of 1453 Count Francesco Orsini sponsored the construction of the façade at his own expense. However work on the façade remained incomplete until 1725 when it was finally finished by order of Pope Benedict XIII.
Location: Rome, Italy