In some of those of the side arches are little niches with triangular pediments, containing relief sculptures of angels. These were the first of many subsidiary chapels and churches around the basilica in the Middle Ages. The baptismal font of the original baptistry was situated exactly in the plunge-pool of one of the two frigidaria (chill-out rooms) of the original bath-house. As well as Pope John XII, Popes John X, John XIV, Alexander II and Sylvester II were laid to rest here before the fashion established itself of burial at St Peter's. This was done by demolishing the mediaeval apse, and with it the famous apse mosaic by Torriti -a surprising act of vandalism at so late a date. The so-called imperial porphyry was sourced from a quarry in the Western Desert of Egypt, a place called Mons Porphyrites. Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. Bottom: The Baptism of Constantine by Pomarancio, Pope Sylvester Receives the Envoys of Constantine on Mount Soracte by Nogari. The archivolt of this is supported by two pairs of grey granite columns, and the spandrels have a pair of putti in relief. Also, baptisms take place in this period on Saturdays 10:00 to 11:00 and 16:00 to 17:00, also Sundays 10:00 to 12:30 and 16:00 to 17:00. A second one was that this rotunda was the baptistery that Constantine built, and that in either case it was demolished and replaced by the present octagonal edifice by Pope Sixtus III in the early 5th century. Here is a transcription of the epitaph, believed to have been composed by Pope Sergius IV: Iste locus mundi Sylvestri membra sepulti, venturo Domino confert ad sonitum, quem dederat mundo celebrem doctissima virgo atque, caput mundi, culmina Romula. Papież Sykstus V polecił go przenieść w obecne miejsce. The famous set of eight columns in imperial porphyry which surround the original plunge-pool are not matching, but are of slightly different lengths. Nowadays it is not considered that Rome is at risk from a major earthquake, but in fact major ones have occasionally happened and this particular one probably caused the final ruination of the great ancient monuments of the Roman Forum and elsewhere in the city. That no-one did is probably as a result of neglect during the period when the papacy was based at Avignon in the 14th century. This work entailed the loss of all the mosaics remaining from the 5th century. The interior as a whole had forty-six hanging lamps in silver, donated by the emperor. In 1967, there was a rather destructive restoration which left the interior mostly in bare brick. This form of porphyry, with white inclusions, comes from the single location. The floor is a delight. The ceiling is coffered, and is unpainted. The next hundred and fifty years seem to have been uneventful. There was a central nave with two side aisles on each side (the Italian nomenclature describes these as "five naves"), with each side aisle being half the width of the central nave. Drei Jahrhunderte später gab Kaiser Konstantin den Palast Papst Miltiades zurück, woraufhin der Palast als päpstliche Wohnung genutzt wurde. Afterwards it was often called the "Winter Choir", because it was used by the canons for the Divine Office when the main basilica was uncomfortably cold in winter. Entry is via the doorway under the tomb of Pope Leo XIII. The iron railings closing off the five entrance portals are original, and the central set bears the name of Pope Clement XII. As well as private houses for small gatherings, it is suspected that early Roman Christians merely rented commercial meeting-halls for their larger gatherings -and so the pope might not have had a permanent and Church-owned cathedral before Constantine at all. There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 8:00 to 12:00, and 15:30 to 17:30. The left hand end has the entrance to the old choir chapel of the canons, beyond which are the Chapter House of the canons and two sacristies, the so-called Sacrestia antica and the Sacrestia dei Canonici. The dome was finished in 1588, and the chapel was consecrated in 1590. When everything was finished, they made this [place] sacred by the name of the Saviour who gives the heavenly kingdom. This is much too early, and is obviously dependent on the casual remark by Optatus already referred to. Non-Catholics may find it odd that St Peter's is not the senior church, but this is because of the theory behind the authority held by the Pope. In the cove is an ornate coat-of-arms presumably (and anachronistically) meant to be of Alexander III, while the stylized-mountains-and-star finials flanking this are from the coat-of-arms of Alexander VII. It became known as the Scala Pilati, which literally means "staircase armed with javelins". The painting above was commissioned to commemorate the chapel demolished to make way for the Cappella Torlonia, and shows the martyred St John Nepomucene about to be thrown into the river at Prague. By this time the priests in charge were living as canons, that is, under a common rule of life. Pope John was a Dalmatian himself, and when Slav barbarians overran his homeland he brought the relics of some of the more important Dalmatian saints here. Before the 20th century the well-head stood at ground level, and was flanked by a pair of ancient Doric columns supporting a fragment of entablature from which hung the bucket-rope. Beyond is a busy road junction, where traffic leaves and enters the walled city by the 16th century Porta San Giovanni, which replaced the ancient Porta Asinaria. Catholics believe that bishops are the heirs of the College of the Apostles with St Peter as its head, so the Pope is the head of all the bishops by virtue of his being the heir of St Peter as Bishop of Rome. One interpretation then made was that this rotunda was a pre-existing baptistery taken over by Constantine for his basilica. Beware of published descriptions claiming that there is only one chapel in the portico. These are described as: (Nave side) Pope Urban V in the centre, to the right "Cardinal Antonelli" (which one? Also around this time the influential Annibaldi family managed to obtain permission to build a palace and fortified tower in the Campus Lateranensis, in between the baptistery and the aula. and Jerome (?) The round-headed main fresco depicts The Assumption of Our Lady with SS Dominic and Philip Neri, and was begun by Giovanni Odazzi. In 1003, Pope Sylvester II allegedly dropped dead while celebrating Mass in the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. The impressive polychrome marble monument is by Filippo Carcani, and has a central niche flanked by a pair of Doric columns in pavonazzetto marble. The capitals of these columns mostly depict acanthus leaves with the details drilled as well as carved, and no uniformity in design. The pope's vestments include scenes in gilded relief: Christ Consigns the Keys to St Peter, The Call of St Peter and Feed My Sheep. The present church measures 130 by 54 metres as a result of the extension of the sanctuary. The second chapel on the left is a small one, and is the Cappella Antonelli. Giovanni Battista Brughi did some repainting in the Borromini restoration, and finally the restorers in 1851 had a go. This meant the loss of the 5th century mosaics that it contained, which apparently had already started to fall off in the early part of the century. This is topped on three sides (not the basilica side) by glazed brick arches lacking any decoration. Over the entablature is an attic from which the vault springs. An atrium with colonnaded ambulatories is a possibility, although the one known to be here seems to have been built later (as at St Peter's). This was supplanted by a large bath-house in the 2nd century, thought to have been a private establishment belonging to the so-called "Trapezoidal House" which is partly under the basilica itself. The bronze statue of the pope is by Maini, and was cast by Gian Francesco Giadorni. The 16th century ceiling and dome were remodelled. In the cove is an ornately flower-garlanded coat-of-arms of Pope Boniface, who was a Caetani (the heraldry is argent two bends wavy azure), and behind this is an attic with a semi-circular cove having tufts of acorns and oak leaves at its ends. Bay VII West has two bronze panels from the gateway doors of the Lateran Palace, made in 1196 by the same craftsmen who executed the doors of the chapel of St John the Evangelist at the baptistery. It has been suggested (without evidence) that the dedication of St John the Baptist was originally that of the baptistery, and that it passed to the basilica by a sort of osmosis. Above the pediment is a very large stucco scallop-shell, fitted into the curve of the vault. This was originally on the saint's shrine in the Catacomba di Sant'Ippolito, and the presence of the fragments here is good evidence that some at least of the catacombs were known in the Middle Ages. The altar frontal is a slab of verde antico, in which is an oculus with a bronze grille surrounded by palm branches. It has Doric pilasters supporting an entablature with triglyphs on its frieze, and with double triglyph posts over the capitals. The latter works feature The Miracle of Spring, and The Martyrdom of Pope St Clement. ), 7:30 (Cappella Massimo) (Not July and August), 10:00 (Cappella Massimo) (Not July and August), 11:00 (Cappella Massimo) (July and August, Cappella Adorazione), 12:00 (Cappella dell’Adorazione) (Not July and August). It was as a result of Borromini's restoration that the church was given its present Baroque appearance, and it no longer looks like ancient basilica. Pope Sixtus V was told of its documented existence, and it was found in 1587 seven metres below the surface of the vegetable gardens that the Circus had become, broken in three pieces. It is recorded that when the sarcophagus was broken open, the fully-vested corpse was seen intact before it crumbled away in the fresh air. The original memorial was by Isaia da Pisa, and Borromini incorporated salvaged elements in a truly sumptuous coved aedicule in red marble with green back-panelling. The door to the far right is the Holy Door, which is only open during Holy Years. The aisle floors by Bernini have lozenge-shaped tiles in white, black and pale grey which give a trompe l'oeil effect of cubes. The third chapel on the left is the Cappella Santorio, named after its founder Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santorio. The canopy of the baldacchino was in silver, supported by four columns of red jasper. Canons Regular of the Lateran There is a small fee to enter them, two euros recently (2015), although the custodian might waive this for clerics and religious dressed properly. It features many gilded angels disporting themselves, and a pair of twisted Solominic columns of a style more familiar from the great baldacchino at St Peter's. It is said that the only person who gave up halfway up stairs is Martin Luther, who came here when he was still an Augustinian monk - but this might just be another joke about Luther. A photo is here. The new basilica was consecrated on Sunday 9 November, almost certainly in the year 318. The large chapel is on a short rectangular plan, and was built by Girolamo Rainaldi for the Colonna family between 1603 and 1611. The Virgin places her hand on his head, as a sign of her protection. Bay V East has more items from the Magdalen altar, including a slab signed by Adeodato di Cosma. The conch of the apse is dominated by a bust of Christ emerging from red and blue cloud, flanked by angels. Two smaller balconies or cantorie for solo musicians are to the sides, and these have triangular pediments over them. In the void is a double curlicue device. The additional subsidiary dedication to St John the Evangelist as well as St John the Baptist was made official by Pope Lucius II (1144–1145). The principal dedication is, and always has been, to Christ our Saviour. The confusion is reflected in the compound altarpiece. The latter were being brought into the city, as the suburban catacombs were abandoned in the face of threats from various marauders. This is one of several suggested claimants for the title of the House of the Laterani and/or the Domus Faustae. They had been brought from Sant'Adriano, the ancient Curia Iulia or Senate House in the Forum Romanum, and because the doors were slightly too small for the molded marble doorcase Borromini provided a bronze fillet bearing stars from the heraldry of Pope Alexander who was a Chigi. He was a Roman citizen who died of plague in 1527, and who has been confused with others of his family (especially those buried in the Cappella Mellini at Santa Maria del Popolo). As mentioned, the decor of Borromini's work is cool and is predominantly in a light grey tint with the gigantic pilasters looking as if they are in white marble with pale grey veins. Behind it, and following the curve of its outer wall, ran a colonnaded ambulatory or walkway which connected the two inner arches in the west walls of the transept. The chapel of St John the Baptist is on the right as you enter from the piazza. The depth indicates that the obelisk fell soon after the Circus was abandoned, and was then buried by those clearing the ruins on the adjacent hills for conversion to vineyards (such a burial could not have come about by simple natural erosion). Also, these two arches have the Pamphilj heraldry on their keystones. In the chamber are two silver-gilt reliquaries (not easy to see through the railings) in which the alleged heads, or parts of, The Gothic Baldacchino and Altar of the Blessed Sacarament. These are memorials of Corsini family members, although there are no epitaphs visible. St Anthony statue, Santa Maria in Trastevere. Hence the surviving citizens huddled next to the river, and in the valleys where there were springs and where shallow wells would yield water. It was commissioned in 324 AD by Emperor Constantine. Four of the eight sections contain the coat-of-arms of Pope Urban VIII, with the bees again. In 1757 the Lercari family restored the Chapel of SS Rufina and Secunda as a mortuary chapel, and about ten years later the same was done for the Chapel of SS Cyprian and Justina by the Borgia di Velletri family. He also had a new ceiling provided for the Chapel of St Venantius, in the previous year. Then in 1775 the ceiling was restored on the orders of Pope Pius VI, who had his own heraldry incorporated in it -there seems to be uncertainty as to how radical a restoration this was. The hemispherical dome itself has seven rings of square coffers with rosettes, ascending to an oculus containing the Dove of the Holy Spirit in glory. The present edifice was commissioned by Pope John IV (640–642) in honour of St Venantius of Salona and other Dalmatian martyrs. It now stands on two circular steps, which are modern. Previous analyses had noted the archaeological finding that the octagonal walls stand on a circular foundation, and interpreted this to mean that the original building was circular. A recent restoration was in 1967, when unfortunately 18th century decorations were removed. The cloisters have an entrance off the far end of the outer left hand aisle, just before the transept. century building, inserted into an already mentioned bath-house complex itself rebuilt at the start of the 3rd century. In between these the entablature is broken for an arch, which shelters an organ (the choir has two) standing on a corbelled balcony with yellow marble baluster pins. It is only now that the dedication of St John the Baptist appears in the official sources. It was repainted in the following century, and installed here perhaps in 1684 (the documentary source is ambiguous). Below the crucifix and in between the column plinths is a shrine to the Madonna delle Grazie, showing the Mother and Child in between SS Lawrence and Sebastian. Outside the railings there are two very good polychrome marble Baroque memorials by Righi showing the deceased at prayer and venerating the altar. Under the Ospedale di San Giovanni to the north-west was found in 1959 a very high-status residence in use from the 1st to the 4th centuries, thought to have been the residence of Domitia Lucilla the mother of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The king had confirmed a donation to the Chapter of the ancient but rotten abbey of Clairac, the monks of which had apostatized to become Protestants in 1565. Pope Clement sent an enormous sum of money for rebuilding, but in 1343 a storm damaged the basilica followed by an earthquake in 1347. He also gave a patrimony in land to the new church as a working institution, in Greece and North Africa as well as nearer home in Calabria, Campania and in the city itself. The interior of the new dome and the interior walls were decorated with mosaics. Jesus Christ and SS John the Evangelist and John the Baptist Two pilasters in the same style support the entablature on each side. This edifice is claimed to have been the last privately owned funerary chapel for a noble family in a church in Rome. There are three storeys, rendered in orange ochre with architectural details in limestone. The statues and reliefs are described in the sources as follows: Left of altar, Prudence and putti by Agostino Cornacchini, relief showing St Andrew Corsini Curing a Pilgrim by Pietro Bracci in memory of Cardinal Pietro Corsini. Interior mostly in bare brick world [ basilica di san giovanni in laterano facts emperor Constantine was baptized here by Sixtus. 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