Monumental Entrance

Virginio Vespignani, Architetto, Roma 1808-1882

The Monumental Entrance (1872), designed by Virginio Vespignani and inspired by the forms of medieval fortified architecture, uses various elements from antiquity.

Two quadrangular turrets on two levels flank the actual entrance, composed of three arches with round arches on cruciform pillars. The materials used are bricks and travertine, in an alternation that emphasizes the role of the construction elements: the walls are made of brick, while the frames, arches, corner elements and the top part are made up of square travertine blocks. The crowning of the turrets is inspired by the covering of a Greek temple, with a rather projecting cornice supported by a frieze with triglyphs and surmounted by a triangular tympanum decorated with carved motifs; on the sides, a series of vertical elements takes up the shape and the decorative motif of the Etruscan-inspired acroters.

The central body is covered by a longitudinal barrel vault on which there is an outdoor terrace. The crowning in travertine above the arches, with a cornice on projecting shelves, also acts as a parapet.

To the external fa├žade of the pillars are placed four high podiums on which are placed the statues representing, from the left, the Silence (by Giuseppe Blasetti), the Prayer (by Francesco Fabi-Altini), the Hope (by Stefano Galletti) and the Meditation ( by Francesco Fabi-Altini).

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