Tag: Domenico Fontana in Rome

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    Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano

    The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano is the Cathedral of Rome, and the mother church of all the Catholic churches in the entire world. The basilica is located on the Caelian Hill, in the homonymous square. The church is the highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, receiving the unique title of archbasilica. Its official name is Papal Archbasilica Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in the Lateran (Arcibasilica Papale del Santissimo Salvatore e dei Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano).   SHORT HISTORY The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano was built in the 4th century in an area owned by the Plauzi Laterani family, which was confiscated by the Roman Empire during the time of Nero. At the beginning of the 4th century, Constantine the Great gave the ancient land and the Lateran residence, now the Lateran Palace, to the bishop of Rome. The church was completed in the first decades of the 4th century, and consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I, who dedicated it to the Most Holy Saviour. In 410, Rome was devastated by the Visigoths of Alaric, and in 455 by Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Quirinale

    Palazzo del Quirinale is a historic palace in Rome, located on the homonymous hill, overlooking the homonymous square. The palace was the official residence of the King of Italy since 1870, and is the residence of the President of the Italian Republic since 1946.   SHORT HISTORY Before the construction of the Quirinal Palace, on this site was a building known as Villa di Monte Cavallo, one of the Roman residences of Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este. In 1583, Pope Gregory XIII began an expansion of the villa, to make it a real summer residence. The project was entrusted to the architect Ottaviano Mascherino and the works were completed in 1585. The successor of Gregory XIII, Pope Sixtus V, decided in 1587 to buy the villa with the intention of making it the summer residence of the pontiff. With the help of the architect Domenico Fontana, he expanded the palace and remodeled the entire area. Pope Paul V was the pontiff who commissioned the completion of the works on the main building of the Quirinale. He entrusted the extension work to Flaminio Ponzio, who built the wing facing the garden, Sala del Concistoro and Cappella dell’Annunziata (Chapel of the Annunciation). After Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni

    Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni is a Late Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, about 120 meters away from Piazza San Pietro.   SHORT HISTORY Girolamo Rusticucci, secretary of Pope Pius V and later cardinal, bought a building on March 31, 1572. Rusticucci also bought some nearby buildings, with the aim of expanding the original structure. In 1584, Rusticucci commissioned Domenico Fontana to design a larger palace. After the death of Pope Sixtus V, Fontana was transfered to Naples, and the works were completed by his nephew, Carlo Maderno. Around 1630, the Nazarene College, one of the oldest schools in Rome, was housed in the palace for a short time. Around the middle of the 17th century, the cardinal’s heirs sold the palace to the Accoramboni family. In 1667, the construction of the colonnade in Piazza San Pietro by Gian Lorenzo Bernini made it necessary to demolish the last block of houses located in front of the square. Its demolition created a new square, bordered on the north side by Palazzo Rusticucci, which gave it its name. In the 20th century, the palace became the seat of the Belgian Historical Institute, and then it was occupied by the Congregation of Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Laterano

    Palazzo del Laterano is a Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, adjacent to the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. The palace was the official residence of the Roman pontiffs for many centuries. Today, it houses the Papal State Historical Museum (Museo Storico dello Stato Pontificio), the offices of the Vicariate of Rome and the apartment of the Cardinal Vicar of His Holiness for Rome.   SHORT HISTORY The area was named after the original owners, the Plauzi Laterani family, who owned a large palace on this site. After a member of this family, designated consul, was accused around the year 66 of conspiracy against Nero, the properties of the family, together with the adjoining palace, were confiscated. At the beginning of the 4th century, the monumental Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano was built, and consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I. Around the middle of the 8th century, Pope Zacharias built a triclinium (formal dining room) in the ancient Lateran Palace, and decorated it with marble, glass and precious metals, mosaics and frescoes. A few decades later, Pope Leo III built another triclinium, and installed, in the center of the room paved with Read more [...]

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    Flaminio Obelisk

    The Flaminio Obelisk is one of the thirteen ancient obelisks of Rome, located in the center of Piazza del Popolo.   SHORT HISTORY The obelisk was partially built in 1300 BC, at the time of Pharaoh Seti I, and completed by his son, Ramses II, in the 13th century BC. Then, the obelisk was placed in the Temple of the Sun from Heliopolis, in Egypt. In the year 10 BC, the obelisk was brought by ship to Rome, at the behest of Octavian Augustus, together with the Montecitorio Obelisk, and placed in the Circus Maximus. Augustus decided to keep the original dedication of the monument to the Sun, which for the Romans corresponded to Apollo, the tutelary deity of the emperor. He also added two identical dedications on the north and south sides of the base. Probably demolished during the barbarian invasions, it was found in 1587 together with the Lateran Obelisk, and erected again in 1589, by the will of Pope Sixtus V, in Piazza del Popolo. The works were supervised by Domenico Fontana. In 1823, at the behest of Pope Leo XII, the architect Giuseppe Valadier decorated it with a base with four circular basins and as many Read more [...]

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    Piazza San Pietro

    Although Piazza San Pietro is technically part of the Vatican, an independent state, informally it can be included among the attractions of Rome, as one of the most beautiful squares in the Eternal City. The Saint Peter’s Square, located in front of the Saint Peter’s Basilica dedicated to the homonymous saint, an apostle of Jesus and the first Catholic Pope, is the main meeting point for the Catholic faithful from all over the world.   SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 16th century, the rectangular square was unpaved, with a difference in height of about 10 meters between the foot of the staircase leading to the basilica and the front of the esplanade that reached the Tiber River. During the 15th century, Pope Alexander VI opened the first new straight road of Rome, the current Via della Conciliazione, between Ponte Sant’Angelo and the gate of the Vatican Palace. Around this axis, the Borgo, the 14th historic district of Rome, was reorganized into a mix of public housing and cardinal palaces designed by the most important architects of the time. During the pontificate of Julius II, it was decided to completely rebuild the St. Peter’s Basilica. Throughout the 16th century, Read more [...]

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    Trajan’s Column

    The Trajan’s Column is an ancient monument built to celebrate the conquest of Dacia by the emperor Trajan. Nearly 2000 years after its construction, the column is almost intact, and it’s the best preserved element of the Trajan’s Forum, the largest Imperial Forum of Rome.   SHORT HISTORY The column, probably built under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus, was inaugurated on May 12, 113 AD, and describes the wars with Dacia held between 101 and 106. In 1162, a document of the medieval Senate established the column as a public property and forbade its damage. During the 16th century, some private buildings in the vicinity of the column were demolished, to create a space around it, and the monument can be admired from afar. In 1588, under Pope Sixtus V, the column was renovated by Domenico Fontana. On that occasion, the bronze statue of St. Peter was placed at the top of the column and a fence was erected.   ARCHITECTURE The column is 29.78 meters in height, or 39.86 meters if you include the pedestal and the statue on top, has a 3.83 meters in diameter, and is made from 20 Carrara marble blocks, each weighing Read more [...]