Founded 149 years ago and housed in a 15th century building, it is the first time that a state asset located outside the national territory receives this special protection.
The Ministry of Culture and Sports, through the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts, has opened the file for the declaration as an Asset of Cultural Interest, in the category of monument, of the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome.
The property, owned by the State and attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, is located in the former Franciscan convent of San Pedro in Montorio, a monumental complex located on the Janiculum hill in the Italian capital in which more than five centuries of relations between Spain and Italy.
With this file, it is the first time that a process of declaration as an Asset of Cultural Interest of a building that is located outside the national territory begins.
The purpose of the Academy is to promote the Spanish cultural presence in Italy and a better understanding of the cultures of both countries
The activity of the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome is traditionally linked to artistic practices and academic exchanges, tracing its lines of action between residents, cultural activities and monumental complex. Its primary objective is to contribute to the artistic and humanistic training of creators, restorers and researchers, and thus achieve a greater Spanish cultural presence in Italy, a better understanding of the cultures of both countries and a greater cultural link between Europe and Latin America.
Views of the temple of the Crucifixion of the Apostle Saint Peter (circa 1503-1505), designed by Bramante. /
The institution, which will be 150 years old in 2023, was founded in 1873, during the First Republic, by Emilio Castelar. The Academy arose to respond to the concerns and training needs of artists and intellectuals for whom Rome was an essential destination during the 17th century and especially during the 18th and 19th centuries. After some time without its own premises, it settled permanently in the convent of San Pedro in Montorio in 1881 after a major rehabilitation project.
15th century building
Linked to Spain since the fifteenth century, the property is an example of the good historical and artistic relations between the two countries. The monumental complex is made up of the church of San Pedro in Montorio (1480-1500); and two cloisters, of which the oldest (around 1480-1500) houses the Shrine or Chapel of the Crucifixion of the Apostle Saint Peter (around 1503-1505), designed by Bramante; and the second (around 1553-1557), houses a set of frescoes on the outer perimeter dedicated to the history of Saint Francis and his order. In addition, it has a square and way of the cross, fundamental elements of communication with the city of Rome.
Likewise, the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome includes a series of movable property as part of its permanent collection. They constitute an essential aspect of its history and are constantly updated as a result of a living heritage, associated with the works of resident artists.
Starting in 2004, with the departure of the Franciscan friars who still lived in the convent, the building was the subject of various interventions to modernize and refurbish the different spaces for use by the resident artists. The latest renovations carried out have been aimed at improving the accessibility of the spaces, a line of action that will continue to be reinforced in future interventions.