In our new book, Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler, one of the "great" walks is in EUR, the mid-century model city/suburb to the south of Rome's center. But we had never been inside EUR's signature church, a structure sited prominently on the area's western hill and one visible from the trains that ply the airport route and from a variety of places in Rome proper. Had we missed something? Should we have included the Church of Saints Peter and Paul on our EUR excursion?
|Evoking the aqueducts|
|Spectacular view, but who authorized the post office, right?|
|Front door panels, from inside|
|Side chapel, with mosaics|
Mosaics decorate the side chapels, but neither they, nor the bas relief stations of the cross, have
the refinement or quality to rescue the edifice from ordinariness. At bottom, the building's failure to produce the sense of "awe" that all good churches have stems from its structure and size: a small structure, neither round nor square--a bit of both, in fatal compromise--with only height to evoke the infinite.
Work on the Church of Saints Peter and Paul was begun in 1939 and completed in 1954. It became a parish church in 1958. It was designed by an architectural team; six architects are mentioned in some sources, and three prominently: Arnaldo Foschini, Tullio Russi, and Alfredo Energici. Too many cooks, perhaps.
|Fashion shoot in progress on church steps|