Church/ Basilica of Santi (SS.) Giovanni e Paolo

"Church/ Basilica of Santi (SS.) Giovanni e Paolo" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Tuesday 5th July 2011

The Church/ Basilica of Santi (SS.) Giovanni e Paolo (Chiesa/ Basilica dei SS.Giovanni e Paolo) on the Celian Hill grew over some ancient Roman constructions disposed on several levels with 20 different rooms belonging to a pagan building, a Christian house and an oratory. The Christian house belonged to John and Paul, two court dignitaries under Constantine II, who were martyred by Julian the Apostate. Immediately after it the house was turned into a place of cult and two Christian senators Byzantius and his son Pammachius founded here a "titulus", i.e. a center of religious and social activity, and later, in 398, a basilica.

Church/ Basilica of Santi (SS.) Giovanni e Paolo at Piazza dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo Worship of the Cross at Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo
During the invasion of Alaric in 410 and of Normans in 1084 it was gravely damaged. In 1099-1118 the convent of the church was reconstructed and fortified, and a 45m high bell-tower was added. In the 13th century future pope Honorius III built a gallery over the portico and added a ring of decorative columns in the apse. The 12th century Ionic portico has eight antique columns and was closed by an iron grille in 1704. The 13th century Cosmatesque doorway is flanked by two lions. In 1598 was created a beautiful lacunar ceiling; in the 17th century the schola cantorum and cyborium were eliminated; and in 1715-1718 architect A.Canevari and Andrea Garagni brought the ultimate changed in the look of the church.
exterior of Basilica of Santi (SS.) Giovanni e Paolo
The façade is subdivided into two parts. The lower part embodies a porch from C. XII dominated by a gallery that was addedin 1216. The upper part, backwards, is characterized by an arched polylychnus window on sorting columns. The interior is divided into three naves delimited by sixteen columns dating back to C. IV sided by pilasters. By the fenced high altar, there is the place where the Saints’ corpses were buried.The church houses works by popular artists like Antoniazzo Romano and Nicolò Cirignani detto il Pomarancio. By the end of the nave to the right, after the nineteenth-century-chapel of S. Paolo della Croce (founder of the Ordine dei Passionisti), one finds the small stairwell leading to the Roman houses where one can still admire frescoes and mosaics dating back to C. II and IV.

In the center of the apse is a big fresco by Pomarancio (1588) representing "Redentore in gloria". Under the High Altar is a splendid ancient porphyry urn with the relics of St John and Paul. A tomb-slab in the nave commemorates the burial place of the two martyrs to whom the church is dedicated. In the vestibule are two notable busts of cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci and Innocent XII, by P.Bracci.
SS. Giovanni e Paolo and Roman Houses and Antiquarium of Celio (Case Romane del Celio)
The Chapel of St Paul of the Cross is dedicated to the founder of the Passionists, a congregation to which the church and its monastery is assigned since 1773. The chapel is on a Greek-cross plan and is decorated with the precious marbles and two columns presented by king of Egypt to Pius IX. The chapel was built in 1857-1880 by the project of Filippo and Vincenzo Martinucci.
strcture of Chapel of St Paul of the Cross atBasilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo
The Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo stands over a complex comprising several Roman houses of different periods. According to tradition, this was the dwelling of John and Paul, both of whom, having suffered martyrdom by execution were buried on the site of their own house (362 AD). During the third century AD, these different properties were combined under a single owner and transformed into an elegant pagan house characterized by finely-decorated rooms. The 12th century convent was erected above remains of the Temple of Claudius.

Also See: Case Romane del Celio (Roman Houses and Antiquarium of Celio) under the Basilica of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo

Address:
Church/ Basilica of Santi (SS.) Giovanni e Paolo
Piazza dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, 13
00184, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
Church/ Basilica of Santi (SS.) Giovanni e Paolo is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "75"
Hours: Open 08:30am-12:00pm 03:30pm-06:00pm. Masses: Weekdays:10:45am-11:45am. During the mass it is not possible to visit the church.
Underground Metro: B (Circo Massimo)
Bus: 60, 75, 81,175,673
Tram: 3
Telephone: 0039 06 7005745 - 06 772711
Fax: 0039 06 77271455

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