Nov 22, 2014

Basilica S. Giovanni in Laterano

Video about Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano. The St. John's Lateran Archbasilica is Rome's cathedral where the pope comes to celebrate Mass on certain holidays and officiates in his capacity as bishop of Rome. Built in AD 314 by Constantine on land originally owned from the wealthy patrician family of the Laterani, it has suffered the vicissitudes of Rome, forcing it to be rebuilt many times. Only fragmented parts of the original baptistry remain. Vandals, earthquakes and fires damaged the original and successive constructions but, finally, in 1646, Pope Innocent X commissioned Borromini to rebuilt the church, and it's Borromini's rather cool, tense Baroque interior that you see today. The towering facade dates from 1736 and was modeled on that of St. Peter's Basilica. The 15 colossal statues (Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and the 12 Apostles of the church) look out on the sea of dreary suburbs that have spread from Porta San Giovanni to the lower slopes of the Alban Hills

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