A medieval fortress in the centre of Rome.
On the slopes of the Celio Hill is one of Rome's most impressive monuments, rich in history, art, and spirituality: the Monastery of Santi Quattro Coronati.
Founded in the mid-5th century AD on the remains of a Roman domus, it is one of the most important basilicas of Carolingian Rome. After so many centuries, its charm remains unchanged, so much so that the impression you get when crossing the threshold is that of immersing yourself in an ancient atmosphere suspended in time, far from the chaos and frenetic rhythms of the modern city.
The temple, which takes its name from the tradition of the martyrdom of four Roman soldiers and five stonemasons, was completely rebuilt following the fire that devastated the city in 1084.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the monks' cells, the splendid cloister and the luxurious fortified cardinal's palace enlarged the original complex. The massive Torre Maggiore dominatesits entrance.
With the transfer of the papal seat to Avignon, a long period of decline began, which lasted until 1564, the year in which Pope Pius IV transformed the complex into a female orphanage, the Conservatorio delle Zitelle, for the cloistered Augustinian nuns who have lived there for over 450 years.
The church has three naves surmounted by women's galleries placed on columns from monuments of imperial Rome. The floor, in Cosmatesque style, is still the original one made up of large marble and porphyry discs and polychrome mosaics with pieces taken from ancient Roman marble.
The only example in Rome, the apse embraces all three naves, covering the width of the central nave of the first basilica. The sumptuous frescoes that cover it are the work of the Florentine painter Giovanni da San Giovanni and depict the history of the Coronati.
From the Room of the Calendar, the antechamber of the Augustinian nuns' parlor adorned with an extraordinary 13th-century fresco, you can enter the Chapel of San Silvestro, the oratory of the cardinal's palace, where another jewel of medieval pictorial art is conserved. It narrates the Stories of Pope Sylvester. Among the depicted scenes is the Donation of Constantine to the pope, in which Rome and other regions of the West are ceded to the Church. The act, later discovered to be false, gave rise to the temporal power of the Church.
In 1996, during a routine intervention, the rarest example of Gothic art in Rome came to light, hidden for almost eight hundred years under seven layers of blue plaster: 300 square meters of extraordinary frescoes that covered the walls and vaults of the Gothic Hall, perhaps the courtroom of an ecclesiastical court.
The lively profane-themed scenes of the Third Master of Anagni represent the four seasons, the arts, the signs of the zodiac, the constellations, the vices and virtues, and Solomon, the Judge par excellence, with his head crowned with a diadem.
On the first floor of the Torre Maggiore is the Gothic-style hall.
The Church of Santo Stefano Rotondo al Celio
Basilica of San Clemente
The Domus Aurea
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