Il Complesso Monumentale of

San Michele a Ripa Grande

Trastevere, Rome

Not all places in Rome or Trastevere must be visited or admired by dedicating them a long-guided tour or other. There are places that can be visited in just a few minutes. The time of a photograph, so to speak.

What are these places? Well, they can be buildings now intended for public offices or with limited access, fountains or buildings that are forbidden to enter for different reasons.

We have therefore decided to include these places in some particular articles that explain their history and why they cannot be visited or why they deserve a quick visit.

Also with this post, therefore, we will present a building of this type. Today, in this case, we will introduce you to Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande.

Are you ready to discover these monuments?
Then keep reading this article!

Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande

Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande or apostolic hospice of San Michele is a multifunctional structure located on the port of Ripa Grande, in fact, it was designed to be an orphanage, hospice and prison.

The history of Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande

The history of Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande goes back a long way, when poverty in Rome increased following the economic crisis brought by the Sack of Rome. It not only led to an increase in the poor, but also in crime.

All this led the Popes to create centers where to assist the poor.
The first of these multifunctional centers was so successful that it was decided to build others and, from here, Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande was built.

As can be understood from the size, however, Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande was not built all at once, but in several steps that ended in 1834.

  • The first step was to build a building that would assist the orphans and set them up for a profession.
  • The second step was to combine the juvenile prison with the orphanage.
  • The third step, in 1708, added the old people’s home, a courtyard for services, a church, dormitories and drying rooms.
  • The fourth step was wanted by Pope Clement XII and was the construction of the women’s prison and other buildings that served as warehouses.
  • In the last step, the conservatory of the spinsters was created.

After the unification of Italy this center declined. For a certain period, the women’s prison, the juvenile prison and little else remained alive.

Over time, however, these functions also decayed and the building was abandoned until 1969, when it was redeveloped and used as the headquarters of the Central Directorate for Antiquities and Fine Arts of the Ministry of Education, now the Italian Ministry of Culture. This function still remains today.

Why quickly visit Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande?

The answer to this question is simple: Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande is now intended for public offices and, therefore, cannot be understood as a place to be visited in a canonical way, that is, taking a long walk inside it with a guide that explains everything there is to know.

Perhaps, you will be able to access the internal gardens and little else (but we strongly doubt it), but everything else is off limits.

However, perhaps by taking some nice photos outside Il Complesso Monumentale of San Michele a Ripa Grande, you can use them on social networks to talk to your followers about this building and its history.

We sincerely hope that you enjoyed this quick little trip to a dark side of this district of Rome and could have given you some ideas for your future trip to this beautiful Italian city!

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