Santa Maria del Popolo & Skeletons

Santa Maria del Popolo is an Augustinian church. It stands on the northern side of the Piazza del Popolo, one of the most famous squares in the city.

The church includes works by several famous artists, architects and sculptors such as Raphael, Pinturicchio, Andrea Bregno, Guillaume de Marcillat, Donato, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio and Bramante.

Santa Maria del Popolo was rebuilt by Baccio Pontelli and Andrea Bregno in 1472-1477 creating an excellent example of Italian Renaissance architecture. In 1655-60 the facade was modified by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who was asked by Pope Alexander VII to update the Renaissance church to a more modern Baroque style.

The Cerasi Chapel holds two famous canvases painted by Caravaggio – Crucifixion of St. Peter and Conversion on the Way to Damascus. Situated between the two works of Caravaggio is the altarpiece Assumption of the Virgin by Annibale Carracci. Look out for the creepy skeletons on the walls of the church.

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