Rome is undoubtedly the city in the world with the most churches, more than two hundred at the present time, many of which were built on the site of earlier ones. Some are designed to welcome masses whilst others resemble private chapels rather than public places open to all. Some belong to monasteries whilst others are dedicated to receiving pilgrims from around the world. They all, however, confirm that despite its schisms and controversies, Rome is the capital of Christendom and art.
The intention of the Latinist Pierre Grimal is to rediscover the genius of the imperial city within the great many churches of Papal Rome. The church is the gathering place of the faithful, the cathedral their home, and the basilica the palace of the Lord. These obvious relationships inspired the construction of holy buildings and served to guide their functions as places of prayer and meditation. White and coloured marble, smooth lines and luminous perspectives, ellipses, flamboyantly Baroque circles. Magnificent sequences of photographs convey the explanations in the text: each church in Rome is a unique world combining the intimacy of meditation with glorious exaltation.