Once known as Death Oratory due to the presence of a fraternity giving assistance during funeral rites.
It was probably carried out by Valmagini and the dome was frescoed by Bibiena.
It was built on demand of the Death Fraternity, which has been based in Santa Maria dell’Argine Church since 1260 .
In the 16th Century the religious association moved to San Silvestro Church, also known as ‘Old Death’ church.
San Cristoforo Church, known as ‘New Death Church’ was built starting from 1686 and inaugurated in 1690. Closed during the French Period, it was reopened during the Restoration Period, but in the mean time the fraternity has ceased to exist.
After several restoration sessions, in the Sixties and recently, it was reopened in 2003.
It belongs to the ‘oratory typology’, that is to say a culpt place conceived for a group of people: San Cristoforo oratory is public. Its cozy and central plan suggests the idea of an intimate place, built for a community.
The building certainly derives from a cooperation between Bibiena and the dukes architect Domenico Valmagini; the architect used here his scenographer’s culture from a urbanistic point of view, putting into practice thecorner view created by Bibiena.
San Cristoforo Oratory, located in the Northern part of the city inside the Roman castrum, is on the corner of two road axis and allows the foreshortening perception from several points of view.
The tympanum façade is characterised by the application of the gigantic ionic order to double thickness pilaster strips.
The interior has a theatre-like organisation as that makes it suitable for mystery plays, thanks to the combination of real architecture, represented by niches and four stages, and of painted architecture carried out by Bibiena and Natali.
Since September 2020 it has been home to the Small Museum of Poetry.