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The Carriage (machine) of Santa Rosa is the triumphal canopy that lifts above the roofs of Viterbo the statue of Santa Rosa, patron saint of the city. Today it has the shape of a tower lit by torches and electric lights, made of light metals and modern materials such as fiberglass.
The use of the word -carriage- or ‘machine’ derives directly from the Greek theatre where the ‘Deus ex machina’ appeared to solve particular situations.
The Santa Rosa carriage has assumed increasing dimensions over the centuries to reach the incredible size of 28 meters above the shoulder of the carriers (over 30 meters in height with the statue raised from the ground) and 5,000 kilos in weight.
Originally its form was that of a Gothic pinnacle, but over the last few years it has assumed more and more philosophical meanings and has become a true art object. It is changed every 5 years following a public competition of ideas involving architects, artists but also porters who have a direct knowledge of their challenges in lifting the carriage.
Some parts of the carriages of the past are visible in the National Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Rome while in Viterbo the whole story is illustrated in the Museum of the Association of the Facchini of Santa Rosa.