San Giovanni in Laterano is the oldest church in the world. It was founded by Pope Melchiade at the start of the 4th century ... More
San Giovanni in Laterano
San Giovanni in Laterano is the oldest church in the world. It was founded by Pope Melchiade at the start of the 4th century on the ruins of the villa of the Roman family the Laterani. The church's current appearance was created by Borromini for the 1650 Jubilee. Although he retained the 16th-century ceiling and floor, the architect altered the appearance by joining pairs of columns in the central nave to make a single pillar inside. In this he built colored marble niches and placed statues of the apostles. In 1735, Alessandro Galilei renewed the façade entirely in travertine stone and crowned it with 15 statues. At the end of the 19th Century, the apse was also rebuilt.
San Giovanni in Laterno is simply the most beutiful church in Rome (and Vatican City)!This church is the Cathederal of Rome and it is simply amazing inside and out.
The chuch contains huge statutes of many of the saints in the walls in niches as you approach the pulpit which is stunning and rummored to contain the remains (a few bones) of St. Peter.
I had been to the Vatican a few days before comming out to this church, and found this church to be easier to appreciate as the viewer is not overwhelmed. St. Peters is beautifulk, however it is so large, and you are so over stimulated with the scale of everything around you. On the other hand this church is Grand without being overwhelming.
I would highly recommend this church to anyone visiting Rome, as in addition to seeing this church the subway station puts you on the outside of the city walls so you walk through the ancient city walls, and approach the chuch from across a large grassy area. also located in the general area is a "cleopatra's Needle" (Egyptian Obelisk) and the Santa Scala, the Holy Stairs.
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