San Marco Evangelista Basilica Rome

The Basilica of Saint Mark (Basilica di San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio) is incorporated in the Palazzo Venezia and is located in the Campitelli district. It is the church of the Venetians in Rome. It is one of the city’s oldest churches.

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Marforio Rome

Marforio, together with Pasquino, Madama Lucrezia, the Abbot Luigi, the Porter (il Facchino) and the Baboon (il Babuino), is one of the famous “talking statues of Rome”, a number of statues that were used from the 16th century onwards to vent criticism of the contemporary popes and politicians. The statue is now on display in the Capitoline Museums.

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Santi Luca e Martina Church Rome

The Santi Luca e Martina Church is located next to of the Roman Forum in Rome. From the viewpoint on the Capitol Hill there is a beautiful view over the dome of this church. The interior was used in 2016 for the TV series “The Young Pope” as the interior of the St. Peter’s Basilica. The official name of the church is Santi Luca e Martina al Foro Romano. Continue reading “Santi Luca e Martina Church Rome”

Tarpeian Rock Rome

The Tarpeian Rock (Rupe Tarpea) is the rock wall on the south side of the Capitol Hill in Rome. It faces the Roman Forum and it is from this steep 25 meter high cliff that criminals during the Roman Republic were thrown down to die. The luxury fashion house Gucci is financing a restoration of the monument, which is supposed to be completed in 2021. Continue reading “Tarpeian Rock Rome”

Basilica of Maxentius Rome

The Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica di Massenzio) is one of the largest monuments in the Roman Forum in Rome. This former courthouse was the model for the construction of the first churches in Rome, which thus came to be called basilica‘s.

Basilica of Maxentius Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

The Basilica di Massenzio is located along the Clivo di Venere Felice inside the Foro Romano. The official address is that of the Forum Romanum itself. The opening hours and the entrance fee are those of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine. Unfortunately, the basilica itself can only be visited from the outside.

History

Basilica of Maxentius Rome
Basilica of Maxentius

The Emperor Maxentius started construction of the basilica between 306 and 312. Emperor Constantine would eventually complete the construction, which is why it is often called the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius.

A fragment of a 2nd century map and excavations show that there used to be a number of buildings here called the Horri Piperataria, where pepper and other spices were stored.

Although the building was part of the Roman Forum, its entrance was on the side of the current Via dei Fori Imperiali.

The Basilica of Maxentius served as the public court of Rome. When churches began to be built, its architecture was used as an example, which is why the first churches were called “basilica”. Only later would the word acquire its current meaning.

Description

The ground plan of the Basilica of Maxentius differs from that of older basilicas like the Basilica Ulpia. These had a central ship with round extensions at the ends.

Originally, the basilica consisted of an enormous auditorium that was divided into three naves by marble columns. It could be accessed from the atrium on the west side via five large corridors. The dimensions were 100 by 65 meters. The central nave had a length of 80 meters and was 35 meters tall. The side wings consisted of three rooms connected to the atrium and to each other.

Only the north side of the basilica is still standing. The central part of the basilica ended in an apse. In front of this apse there were two columns and statues could be seen in the niches.

The south side used to have a large entrance, which was built by Constantine and consisted of a portico with four enormous columns. This portico was preceded by a staircase that connected the Via Sacra with the Velia (a hill that was largely excavated by Mussolini during construction of the Via dei Fori Imperiali).

Only one of the eight columns supporting the central nave remains. It was removed in 1613 by order of Pope Paul V and placed in front of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, where it can still be seen.

Colossus of Constantine

Emperor Constantine had a huge, seated statue of himself placed in the eastern apse of the central nave. The arms, legs and head were made of white marble, while the torso was made of wood with a gilded bronze layer. The remains of this Colossus of Constantine, the head and one of the feet, can be seen in the Capitoline Museums in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori. It was more than 12 meters tall and the head alone measured 2.60 meters.

Basilica of Maxentius – Forum Romanum, Rome

Capitoline Hill Rome

The Capitoline Hill, for which the seat of the American Congress is named, was the most central hill of ancient Rome. At its southern side stood the Temple of Jupiter, which was the focal point of the Roman world. It is here that the most important ceremonies and rituals took place. Throughout the city’s history, the Capitol has remained the seat of municipal government. Today’s city council, the Comune di Roma, meets in the Palazzo Senatorio on the Piazza del Campidoglio. Continue reading “Capitoline Hill Rome”