Thursday, February 8, 2007

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

One of the major churches in Rome is the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (Basilica of St. John Lateran). It is the oldest of the four major basilicas in Rome and holds the title of ecumenical mother church (mother church of the whole inhabited world). The Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is the first church built by Constantine in 314 A.D. It was built on the pre-existing Roman structure of the cavalry barracks of the imperial guard. It has been rebuilt many times and now only parts of the originial baptistry remain. Francesco Borromini did major interior renovations in the church in 1646. Alessandro Galilei did work on the facade including the statues of Christ and the Apostles on top of the building in 1732. The facade has often been called the facade of a palace and not a church because of the larger entrance doorway.
Amy Altman

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