Basilica of Maxentius or (of Constantine)/ Basilica di Massenzio (o di Costantino)

"Basilica of Maxentius or (of Constantine)/ Basilica di Massenzio (o di Costantino)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 29th June 2011

Basilica of Maxentius or (of Constantine)/ Basilica di Massenzio (o di Costantino) in the Roman Forum/ Forum Romanum (Foro Romano) was begun by Maxentius in 306-312 and finished by Constantine. It was set on the Velia, i.e. the hill on the east limit of the Roman Forum, over the previous constructions served for living. Basilica was entirely made of bricks and tiles; its dimensions were 90m x 60m, and was compound of a nave, two side aisles and an apse; it was the largest monument in the Forum. The aisles consisted of three halls each with the barrel vault decorated by lacunars. One of these halls was transformed in apse by Constantine, when the main entrance was open on the long side from the Forum.

Basilica of Maxentius or (of Constantine)/ Basilica di Massenzio (o di Costantino) in the Roman Forum/ Forum Romanum (Foro Romano)
Inside of it emperor erected his colossal statue, which remains were discovered in 1490 and are exposed now in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on Piazza del Campidoglio.

Inside of the construction were eight 14.5m high columns, the last of which was transferred from here by Paul V to the square in front of S.Maria Maggiore. The bronze plaques from the roof were removed in 626 by pope Honorius I to cover the old St Peter's. What we can see now, is the right aisle with the apse of Constantine. It is probable that the collapse of the left aisle was caused by the earthquake of the 9th century.

The only column that survived was removed in 1613 and placed in front of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. In the apsis of the central nave Constantine erected a gigantic statue of himself with arms, legs and head made of white marble and the rest of gilded bronze. The head and one foot are exposed in the Capitoline Museums.
side view of Basilica of Maxentius or (of Constantine).jpg
Basilica served as a model and an example of architectural wonder for numerous Renaissance artists. F.Brunelleschi studied the secret of its proportions, Bramante and Michelangelo were inspired by it for creation of the pilasters that hold the dome of St Peter's. Today, this great arched vaults of this structure still dominate the north side of the Via Sacra.

Address:
Basilica of Maxentius or (of Constantine)/ Basilica di Massenzio (o di Costantino)
Via dei Fori Imperiali
Via Sacra, Piazza Santa Maria Nova 53,
00186 , Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Campitelli (Foro Romano- Campidoglio-P.Venezia) (Roma centro)/ Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
Basilica of Maxentius or (of Constantine)/ Basilica di Massenzio (o di Costantino) is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "22"
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