After a completely disastrous re-fitting in 1934 which rendered it unusable, it was restored to full working order in 1984. The new apse was provided with a copy of the lost mosaic, which is often described as the old one carefully transferred -this is not the case. The curve of the latter touches the ceiling, and contains the Pamphilj dove yet again in a wreath. The edifice has two structurally identical storeys, each with five large arched portals with simply molded archivolts springing from Doric imposts. This is the sole survivor of the 5th century cladding of the baptistery and portico. Pope Urban VIII (1623-9) began a massive restoration project in 1625, and you can spot the bees from the heraldry of his family, the Barberini, infesting the interior in several places. Pope John XII (955-964) built an oratory dedicated to St Thomas the Apostle, against the basilica's frontage next to the beginnings of the left hand side aisles. The overall decorative scheme is white on pale blue, with the pilaster plinths in what looks line grey-streaked marble. No ancient tradition supports this claim, which seems very unlikely. Die Basilika San Giovanni in Laterano è anche la cattedrale di Roma. All of this is in unpainted and varnished wood. The architrave and cornice each consist of several rows of decorative molding, but the frieze has shrunk to a narrow, plain band. The statue has hence been described as portraying him, or Pope Boniface VIII. The next day, he met St Francis at the Lateran and recognized in him the saint sent by God to restore the church - not St John Lateran in particular, but the Church in general. This is recorded as having been begun by Luigi Mainoni, continued by Giuseppe Chialli and finished by Giuseppe Barba of the latter's school. This featured a representation in silver of Christ accompanied by the twelve apostles on the side facing the nave, Christ with four angels holding swords in silver on the side facing the apse and a golden canopy from which hung a chandelier in gold. In between the rivers is the Heavenly Jerusalem, guarded by St Michael the Archangel and ruled over by SS Peter and Paul (their busts are tiny, and hard to see). To the left of the chapel entrance, at the bottom of the outer left hand aisle, is a memorial to Riccardo degli Annibaldi. Otherwise there would have been a single-storey narthex or loggia, entering the church (it is thought) through three doorways -not five. This was completed in 1588, and replaced the closely parallel but unsuitable Via dei Quattro Coronati which was no better than a bridle path. This stand-alone edifice is now usually simply known as the Scala Santa. The propylaeum has two pairs of monumental Composite engaged columns on high shared plinths, which support an entablature and triangular pediment with modillions (little brackets) in the form of straps. Four clustered pilasters occupy the diagonals, fronted by ribbed Composite semi-columns, and these support similarly clustered posts in an entablature with a dentillated cornice. Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. If you look at the visible sides flanking the door, you will notice that each has the outline of a blocked door with an arc lintel, over which is the outline of a blocked round-headed window. These are separated by Corinthian columns, which support a cornice on posts on which stand a row of flaming urn finials. It has a hemispherical dome in lead on a circular brick drum with large rectangular windows, which you can see if you peer round the left hand corner of the entrance façade. Whereas St Peter certainly saw the obelisk now at Piazza San Pietro when he was being martyred in the adjacent ancient circus, Moses may very well have seen this one if he ever travelled to the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes (in his day, the pharaohs had their capital in the Delta region). The latter pope also restored the roof of the basilica and the atrium, and it is argued that he actually built the latter instead of repairing a previously existing structure. However, in 1851 Pope Pius IX employed Filippo Martinucci to provide a new high altar and the present confessio as well as restoring the baldacchino. By the entrance to the Sagrestia dei Beneficiati are two salvaged mediaeval mosaic epigraphs. It is thought that there was a simple porch entrance where the main entrance facing the basilica is now. However, it is the surviving area of the ancient Campus Lateranensis which was the mustering-ground of both the basilica and the palace throughout mediaeval times. The central nave is a study in contrasts. This was finished in 1589, and was intended as a summer palace for the popes. The triumphal arch is supported by a pair of Ionic piers in yellow Siena marble, and on the archivolt are two stucco angels holding a banner that proclaims the presence of the relics of the martyrs under the altar. The complex never recovered, because the French Pope Clement V (1305–1314) refused to move to Rome after his election and settled at the papally governed enclave of Avignon in the south of France. It has two storeys, with an entrance narthex occupying the lower one and a loggia occupying the upper one, but the design unifies these by incorporating a monumental, slightly projecting propylaeum with flanking gigantic pilasters. Two are Ionic, two Corinthian and two Composite. The gigantic statues of Christ and the apostles over the façade of the basilica feature in many views of the city, but the basilica itself hides itself surprisingly well close-up. The plinths of these are revetted in a black and white brecciated marble. Very unfortunately, Fontana also demolished the ancient Oratory of the Holy Cross in 1588 -this was an enormous loss. The original silver fastigium was looted by the Visigoths when they sacked the city in 410, and replaced by Emperor Valentinian III in the reign of Pope Sixtus III (432-40). Pope Leo III has a square nimbus, showing that he was alive when it was made. The relief depicts the pope conferring the royal title on St Stephen of Hungary, an event that took place in 1001 (actually, the two never met). Behind this chapel looms the larger Chapel of St Venantius. Two centuries of archaeological investigations have led to not one single instance of a dedicated pre-Constantinian Christian place of worship being positively identified. The rectangular portico is 5th century. Alessandro Burgio 1613, who had been the Vicar (second-in-command after the Archpriest) of the basilica, and was a popular man according to the witness of his epitaph. (Right side) The Mother and Child with Angels being venerated by a cardinal, and flanked by four more saints who are, left to right, SS Lawrence with his gridiron, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and Stephen the Protomartyr with one of the stones used to kill him. ); Maurus a bishop; Septimus a deacon, and Antiochanus with Gaianus who are soldiers. Some commentators think that there are ancient colonnade columns walled up in the piers, but this is uncertain. The eastern entrance is similar. Pope Sixtus had a bronze cross put on top instead, set on stylized mountains, a star and four pear-holding lions which occur in his coat-of-arms (the mountains and star originated with the Chigi family, although he was a Peretti -hence the pears). Left end, west wall. Pope John was a Dalmatian himself, and when Slav barbarians overran his homeland he brought the relics of some of the more important Dalmatian saints here. The pope's heraldry features in the decorative elements. National church: Two are folded into the corners, and two are in the side walls; these are in a grey-banded marble. It does not actually say that Constantine founded a baptistery, but does give details of the furnishings that he donated. In the right hand inner aisle, on the back of the first nave pier, is what looks at first sight to be a fine Baroque funerary monument. The tabernacle for the Blessed Sacrament is a spectacular gilded bronze work in the form of an octagonal domed temple, inset with gems and coloured stones and with little statues of saints. In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI abolished the title of “patriarchal basilica” formerly also given to these four churches. It was restored by Pope St Leo the Great, and one scholarly interpretation is that this pope rebuilt the apse with an ambulacrum or semi-circular outside walkway (this is disputed). In between the piers are five arches, each with a molded archivolt springing from Doric imposts. The altarpiece depicts Christ Between St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist, and is by the Cavalier d'Arpino. Opposite is a memorial to Anna Torlonia 1848, also by Barba with Religion by Vincenzo Gajassi and Hope by Filippo Gnaccarini. Chinnery wrote in 1903: "The view from the porch, embracing the ancient walls of Aurelian, the Campagna with its long lines of aqueducts [still then an overgrazed and treeless sheep-walk], the Alban and Sabine hills dotted with white villages, is very beautiful". It is thought that they originally came from the Loggia of Benedictions of Pope Boniface VIII, or from the Annibaldi tomb the remains of which are now in the bottom end of the outer left hand aisle. The near right hand one is a portrait of Pope Martin V by Scipione Pulzone, Il Gaeto. An inscription with beautiful mediaeval lettering says MAGISTER COSMATUS FECIT HOC OPUS, meaning "Master Cosmatus made this work". To the sides are two modern bronze sculptures of deer, commissioned by Blessed Pope Paul VI. The period of the civil war which eventually put the emperor Constantine on the throne involved the city of Rome being held by the emperor Maxentius, a confirmed pagan (as were most of the city's elite) and also the last Roman emperor actually to reside at Rome permanently.The equites singulares were part of Maxentius's army, and loyal to him. For the Jubilee of 1600, Pope Clement VIII gave Giacomo della Porta the commission to re-decorate the transept and erect the spectacular Blessed Sacrament Altar. Left of entrance, Temperance by Filippo della Valle (did he do the putti? Mergere peccator sacro purgande fluento, quem veterem accipiet, proferet unda novum. Next is a monochrome fresco featuring the heraldry of Pope Innocent X with two allegorical female figures by Carlo Maratta, which is above the doorway of the Chapel of St Venantius. A road of sorts led down to the Via Appia near the Baths of Caracalla, and donkey tracks occupied the present Via dei Quattro Coronati and the present road to Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. The most interesting feature is the end wall of the transept, which shows the evidence that it once contained a large round window or oculus. The richly gilt coffered 16th century ceiling includes carved figures from the previous 15th century one. To the right in the portico is a marble tablet bearing a copy of the bull of 1372 by Pope Gregory XI which proclaimed the basilica as being the first in dignity of all churches. The ones in the first storey have block capitals featuring reliefs with ribbons, swags and Barberini bees, while the second storey ones are topped with what look like miniature ancient Roman aqueducts. All six balconies have richly carved and gilded wooden neo-Baroque screens. In the Middle Ages it was believed that the bones in his tomb would rattle about when the reigning Pope was about to die, and that his epitaph tablet would sweat moisture. domini Coelestini III papae, Cencio cardinalis S. Luciae et domini papae Camerario iubente opus istud factum est. Fontana also laid out the present Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano. Three are in grey granite, but the near left hand one is in bigio antico marble and is Corinthian. and Jerome (?) It is usually referred to as "St. John Lateran", or, in full, "the Basilica of St. John Lateran". The walls in between are in yellow. Above each aedicule is a rectangular (almost square) stucco relief panel, allegedly originally intended to be in bronze. Borromini provided similar but charmingly different aedicules for salvaged memorials under the other windows in the aisle, and it is worth comparing the designs of these. To the left of the stairs is a statue of Cardinal Pietro Gasparri by Enrico Tadolini 1941. The portals are trabeated, that is, each has two pairs of Composite pilasters supporting a horizontal entablature which bears a pin balustrade for the arched loggia portal above. Pope Pius IV (1559-65) commissioned the extant flat coffered wooden nave ceiling of the basilica in 1562. Diego Angeli 1902 had this to say: Disgraziamente in tali lavori il mosaico primitivo fu talmente restaurato nel transporto, che prese tutto il suo carattere. The importance of this road is that the baptistery preserves the alignment in its major axis. The vault is divided into four sectors by ribs with more stucco florals festoons, which also circle the oculus. To the side are voids left after excavations under the chapel, which allow you to see the original mosaic pavement of the 2nd century bath-house which was here before the baptistery. The interior of the portico was restored, and given a Baroque makeover. Although the sensible tradition is that the popes took up residence here from the time of Constantine, there is actually no proof of this. This latter was on the plan of a Greek cross within a chamfered square, and was accessed via a little colonnaded atrium. The vast warren of the mediaeval Lateran Palace was finally demolished by Pope Sixtus V (1585–1590) after being derelict for decades. These chapels are on record as having been built by Pope Hilary. This is flanked by a pair of angel caryatid pilasters, and topped by a coat-of-arms flanked by the mountains-and-star device again. Like the previous one, this chapel was built by Pope St Hilary (461–468), and the dedicatory inscription can still be seen on the entablature above the door. This has a fragment of the pope's original monument, a relief effigy of the pope giving a blessing, which has been inserted into a capsule-shaped tondo surrounded by a wreath with spiky stars (from Pope Alexander's heraldry). 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