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Point of interests in Rome

TitleSan Marco iuxta Pallacinis
Address00186 Lazio Roma Piazza di San Marco piazza
TimeIV–XV sec.
DescriptionAccording to tradition, the ancient basilica of San Marco was founded by Pope Marco in the year 336. During its long life, it underwent numerous, important restorations including those under Pope Adriano I (772-795) after decades of sacking and neglect, and those carried out during the papacy of Gregorio IV (827-844), which included the installation of the apsidal mosaic which depicted him in the act of offering to Christ a little model of the restored basilica. The elegant travertine portico which preceded the church is owed to the intervention of Pietro Barbo (cardinal presbyter of San Marco between 1451 and 1464), elected pope with the name of Paolo II who, residing in the adjacent Palazzo San Marco, wanted to include the basilica in the extension and embellishment works on his residence. The portico in the front of the church has three arches supported by semicolumns with composite capitals, and is surmounted by a three arch loggia with parastades with Corinthian capitals. The arches of the portico are enclosed within railings, the gift of Pope Alessandro VIII (Pietro Ottoboni 1689-1691), who had been the cardinal presbyter there (1660-1677).In the portico, which preserves numerous architectural fragments of early Christian funerary inscriptions, a portal gives access to the church and is surmounted by a garlanded architrave bearing the coat-of-arms of Paolo II and, in the lunette, a fifteenth century bas-relief depicting San Marco Evangelista. The interior of the basilica is today mostly in Baroque style, the outcome of numerous interventions which were conducted between XVII and XVIII. The precious apsidal mosaic and the wooden ceiling dating to the fifteenth century intervention of Paolo II were preserved.


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