The Santo Stefano Rotondo

We immediately turn right when we exit the Santi Quattro Coronati and face an intersection, which, if we keep walking straight, will take us to the cathedral of Rome: the San Giovanni in Laterano. Unfortunately we can’t visit all Rome has to offer. So instead of going straight, we take a right in the Via de Santo Stefano Rotondo. On our left hand side, away from the road, there’s an early-Christian 4th century church.

San Stefano Rotondo omgeving 4e eeuw

entrance street side and entrance of the Santo Stefano Rotondo
entrance
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entrance street side and entrance of the Santo Stefano Rotondo

Pictures: (mouseover): TuRaNeO

The Santo Stefano Rotondo is one of the earliest examples of a centred plane, in this case a high, large central room with two ring-shaped aisles around it. The round church has a cross-shaped map.

Santo Stefano Rotondo map 

1. Core
2. Interior revolution, as high as the cross arm
3. Exterior revolution
4. Cross arms
5. Court
Santo Stefano Rotondo
nave
Santo Stefano Rotondo nave Rome

Pictures: Luc&Ca

Santo Stefano Rotondo
aisles
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Santo Stefano Rotondo aisles Rome

Pictures: edk7

Santo Stefano Rotondo Rome

 

Santo Stefano Rotondo
nave
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Santo Stefano Rotondo nave

Picture: Luigi Mancini

In the 12th century, Innocentius II added three large ribbed vaults. This likely pertained to the poor condition of the wooden roof.

Santo Stefano Rotondo
aerial picture big format
Santo Stefano Rotondo aerial picture Rome

 

ribbed vaults central nave side-aisles
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Santo Stefano Rotondo ribbed vaults central nave side-aisles

Pictures: Sacred Destinations

In the 16th century, the painter Pomarancio made a number of frescos about tortures on the walls. When looking at these, you feel rather compelled to divert your gaze from these horrors.

Pomarancio
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fresco
Pomarancio  Antonio Circignani Santo Stefano Rotondo fresco

Picture: Paul Dykes

interior Santo Stefano Rotondo
wall with frescos about martyrs
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Saton Stefano Rotondo Pomarancio fresco's

Day 4