Bank of the Holy Spirit

Banco di Santo Spirito

The building of the Banco di Santo Spirito (as its name sounds in Italian) was founded in 1513 by Pope Leo X in a street that later was nicknamed "the bank street". This is the first building in history that was erected for the banking purposes. Two statues adorn its roof depicting charity and frugality, a symbol of righteousness in financial matters. The bank established by Pope V in 1605 became the first national bank in Europe (a bank of the Papal States), the fist public deposit bank of Rome and the oldest continuously operating bank of Rome until its merger in 1992 with Banco di Roma. In 2002 together with other banks it formed Capitalia banking group.

The bank financially supporter the Hospital of the Saint Spirit, founded in 1201. Most likely it was because of that hospital that the bank got its name. Since 1607 the bank has been in control of the medical institution. Until 1923 the bank provided financial support for the churches and hospitals of Rome, as well as managing its commercial activities, including giving loans for state initiatives. One of its projects was the construction of the Trajan aqueduct project started in 1608, when a new aqueduct was built along the ancient Trajan one.

In 1786 under Pope Pius VI the Bank of the Holy Spirit was one of the first to introduce paper money. In the 1930s after there was an attempt of a bank robbery, skeletons of the cholera epidemic victims were found in the tunnels under the building.

Address: Via del Banco di Santo Spirito Ponte
How to reach: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
Coordinates: 41.899802, 12.466778