San Lorenzo in Miranda (Rome)

Сан-Лоренцо в Миранде (Рим)



Description of San Lorenzo in Miranda

Opening hours: 10:00 - 24:00 Thursday

Portico of the Catholic Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda and its foundation was built in 141 AD as part of the pagan temple of Antonin and Faustina. The temple was originally dedicated to Emperor Anthony Pius in honor of his wife Faustina. After his death, the Romans decided to add Anthony Pius to the assembly of the gods. San Lorenzo or the Church of St. Lawrence was built much later, as a tribute to St. Lawrence, who was said to have been sentenced to death at this place.


Temple of Antonin and Faustina

The temple of Antoninus and Faustina was built in 141 AD. Emperor Antonin Pius and was originally dedicated to his deceased and deified wife Faustina the Elder. When Antonin Pius was deified after his death in 161 AD, the temple was renamed the Temple of Antonin and Faustina at the initiative of his successor, Marcus Aurelius. The building stands on the high platform of large blocks. Two initiatory inscriptions read: "Divo Antonino et Divae Faustinae Ex S.C." or: "Divine Antonin and divine Faustina by the decree of the Senate." Ten monolithic Corinthian columns reach a height of 17 meters (56 feet). Rich bas-reliefs of the frieze under the eaves, griffins and candelabra were often copied in other buildings from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.


Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda

The pagan temple was converted into a Roman Catholic church, the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, possibly already in the seventh century, but only the work of the 11th century by Mirabilia Urbis Roma is confirmed. "Miranda" may occur on behalf of the benefactor. It was believed that this temple was the seat of the sentence of St. Lawrence, the deacon and martyr executed by order of the prefect of Rome, hence the dedication of the Christian church.

The Christianization of the pagan explains the survival of the colonnade and portico of the temple over the centuries, although not all the ancient building has survived to this day. Marble cladding cella was destroyed. Deep cavities in the columns of the temple are supposed to have been added in the Middle Ages. Apparently these are traces of attempts to disassemble a portico, or to destroy a pagan temple. However, these works stopped. In the Middle Ages, the staircase was built on the side facing the Forum, but now it is impossible to enter from it, because there is a gap of about 6 meters (20 feet) between the step and the bronze door. Before the archaeological excavations the ground level was at this door. Excavations in front of the temple were undertaken in 1546, again in 1810 and at intervals from 1876.

In 1429 or 30 years, Pope Martin V gave the Church of the College of Degli Special (College of Chemists and Herbalists), then officially named “Universitas Aromatorium”. The college still uses the adjoining building, which houses a small museum, which holds a receipt for medicines, signed by Raphael. After that, side chapels were installed. The church lacks the usual eastern apse: it was never added to preserve the structural integrity of the temple.

The church of San Lorenzo in Miranda was partially destroyed, and in 1536 the side chapels were dismantled to restore the ancient temple for the Roman visit of the Roman emperor Charles or Charles V. The church was reconstructed in 1602 by Orazio Torriani, who created a single nave and three new chapels . On the main altar there is a cross-shaped canvas by Pietro da Cortona, dedicated to the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence (1646), and in the first chapel on the left are Domonicino Madonna with the Child and Saints (1626).