"Basilica of St. Lorenzo fuori le mura" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011
The basilica is a result of the fusion of two churches one built in 6th century the other during the 13th century, around the grave of St. Lorenzo. In the 12th century the Cloister was built; in the basilica took the current aspect, when the new erected church replaced the previous basilica incorporating it. The church preserves the relics of St. Stefano, for this reason for immemorial time it has been one of the most venerated in Rome.
The church was damaged after the air-raid of 1943; after the restores it acquired the meddle-age aspect. The façade is preceded by a porch decorated with frescos dating back the end of 200. On the right of the façade the Romanic Bell Tower stands out. The inside of the church, with two aisles and a nave, shows at first look the not homogeneous structure of itself with the two basilicas next to each other but not perfectly on the same axis.
Twenty two columns different for dimension and marble, divide the aisles from the nave. The floor, the lectern, the Easter chandelier are precious cosmatesque works dating back the end of 13th century. At the end of the right aisle there is the Chapel of St. Tarcisio that preserves a beautiful painting representing the beheading of John the Baptist by Giovanni Serodine (1619) in a style typical of Caravaggio. At the end of the left aisle there is the Chapel of St. Ciriaca in baroque style, with funeral monuments planned by Pietro da Cartona. In the Presbitery, among four columns, there is the grave of St. Lorenzo. At he centre of the cosmatesque floor there is the ciborium, the most ancient work signed by a Roman marble worker (1148), made of four porphyry columns supporting a roofing in pyramid-shaped on four small columns. On the bottom wall there is the Episcopalian Throne (1254), decorated with mosaics dating back the end of 6th century, representing Jesus, St. Paul, Stephen, Ippolito, Peter, Lorenz and the Pope Pelagio. This one is portrayed while he is offering to Christ the model of the minor basilica. At the bottom of the aisles it is possible to go down the Funeral Chapel of Pio IX erected at the end of the 19th century.
Piazza del Verano 3 - phone 06 49 15 11
Bus 71 - 492
Tram 19 - 19b - 30b.