Casa dei Crescenzi


The Casa dei Crescenzi (Crescenzi's House) is a building located in Via Luigi Petroselli, in the Ripa district.
In the past this building was also known with the name of Tor Crescenzia, and was sometimes mistakenly confused with the Casa di Cola di Rienzo.
The construction of this building between 1040 and 1065 was Nicolò Crescenzi, son of Crescenzio and Teodora, and had the function of controlling the Ponte Emilio, managed by the Crescenzi family who charged a toll, and the various structures that worked thanks to the Tiber.
The structure, very interesting in the architectural style, is largely composed of materials taken from previous monuments that go mainly to decorate the brick structure.
The entrance portal is surmounted by a large inscription, very important also from the point of view of the history of architecture, in Latin, which can be translated as follows:
 "Nicholas, to whom this house belongs, was not unaware that the glory of the world has no importance in itself; it was not vainglory that prompted him to build this house, but to renew the ancient decor of Rome In the beautiful houses he remembers the sepulchres and be sure that you will not stay there long, death comes with wings and for no one life is eternal; our stay is short and its course is light. If you flee from the wind, if you close a hundred doors or command a thousand guards, you would not lie down without death. If you locked yourself in a castle near the stars, there she usually takes whoever she wants. Thus arises this sublime house, whose structure the great Niccolò, first of the first, built some foundations to renew the decor of his parents, Crescenzio, his father, and Teodora, his mother. The father built this illustrious building dedicated to his esteemed son Davide ".

This inscription shows a notable rediscovery of the ancient in that period of the Middle Ages and an interest in renewing the glories of Rome.
In 1312 the tower that was above the structure, the so-called Tor Crescenzia, was demolished in the conflicts that broke out in Rome after the arrival of Arrigo VII of Luxembourg. From that moment on the name of Tor Crescenzia ceased to be used and only the Casa dei Crescenzi remained. Also called in the Latinized form of "mansio", the Crescenzi house was also called "Tor Monzone" due to popular corruption.
The unique building was also exchanged for a long time with the house of Cola di Rienzo, since the name of "Niccolò di Crescenzio" has been confused with that of the tribune of medieval Rome, and also called "Casa di Ponzio Pilato" (House of Pontius Pilate), because during the Vie Crucis it was used to represent the palace of Pontius Pilate.
In any case, in the fifteenth century the building fell into disuse, being transformed into a stable with an adjoining barn, being in an area full of such structures, as the nearby Via dei Fienili also remembers.
Acquired by the Papal Government in 1868, with the annexation of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy in 1870 it passed to the Municipality of Rome.

In the 1920s, the area on the slopes of the Campidoglio was overwhelmed by important urban changes: Munoz's project wanted to free the Capitoline Hill from subsequent structures and restore it to its naturalness, to renew the era of the dawn of Rome, while the area between the Theater of Marcellus and the Bocca della Verità was freed from the buildings for the opening of a new road that should have led from Piazza Venezia towards the sea.

These interventions became more invasive in the 1930s, and led to the construction of the Via del Teatro di Marcello, at the time Via del Mare, including the current section now known as Via Luigi Petroselli, in which new buildings were built, including the Registry.
The value of the building managed to save the Casa dei Crescenzi from the demolitions of the area, but its function changed radically, becoming a building that in some way acts as an architectural link between the solemn rationalist forms of the Registry, which it is practically incorporated. and the archaeological area of the Foro Boario. Furthermore, together with the rebuilt Casa dei Pierleoni, it forms the backdrop to today's Via Petroselli coming from the Bocca della Verità.
The Casa dei Crescenzi currently houses the Study Center for the History of Architecture.

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