"Basilica di Santa Pudenziana al Viminale" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 2nd May 2011
This church is dedicated to the sister of S.Prassede, Pudenziana, both martyrs, and was erected on the site of the house of their father Pudente, who would have had St Peter as a guest. One of the most antique churches in Rome, raised on the house of Senator Pudente said to have hosted San Pietro and where later on (during C.II), a thermal building was constructed. The latter was turned into a basilica, between the end of C. IV and the beginning of C.V, to then be dedicated to Santa Pudenziana (probably sister to Santa Prassede). It has been suggested that there was no such person as Pudentiana, the name having originated as an adjective used to describe the house of Pudens : Domus Pudentiana. This was mistaken for the name of a female by later generations
A century later the house was transformed in a little baths construction, in which hall in the 4th century was installed a church dedicated to S.Pudenziana. It was reconstructed in the 8th, 11th and 13th centuries. In the beginning of the 13th century a bell-tower was erected by wish of Innocent III. Another complete reconstruction took place in 1589 ordered by cardinal titular Enrico Caetani with the intervention of F.da Volterra, who posed on the Romanesque building a new one. The facade was executed in the 19th century, and a doorway preserves a beautiful medieval frieze in relief. Interior has a nave and two aisles divided by Roman columns built up into piers. The dome is also by the same architect and depicted by Pomarancio representing "Paradise".
The apse mosaic of the end of the 4th century is the most ancient example of the pure Roman art of mosaics, which was not yet influenced by Byzantine culture. In the center of it is Christ enthroned and surrounded by Apostles, two figures of women and houses on the background. The interior of the church, divided into three naves by six antique columns, one may admire the mosaic from C. IV and carved in '500, among the most antique ones in Rome.
In the left aisle is Cappella Caetani by F.da Volterra and C.Maderno (1601), richly decorated with the marbles, stuccoes, and mosaics. On the altar is a bas-relief representing "Adoration of Magi" by P.Olivieri (16th century). There are also two funeral monuments by C.Maderno and statues of cardinals by pupils of G.L.Bernini.
In front of the chapel is a well, in which, according to a legend, S.Pudenziana collected the bones of 3,000 martyrs. The high altar is based on a sarcophagus preserving a wooden table on which St Peter would have served Mass.
Basilica di Santa Pudenziana al Viminale
Via Urbana, 160
00184, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Monti (Colosseo-S.Giovanni-S.Maria Maggiore) (Roma centro)
Basilica di Santa Pudenziana al Viminale is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "99"
Hours: Open 08:30am-12:00pm 03:00pm-06:00pm. Masses: Holidays:09:30am-10:30am-12:00pm-04:00pm (in Filippino), Weekdays:07:30am (Mon-Fri in Italian), Thursday: 05:00pm, During the mass it is not possible to visit the church.
Telephone: 0039 06 4814622
Fax: 0039 06 4463478