The Minor Basilica of St. Lawrence in Lucina is dedicated to St. Lawrence of Rome, deacon and martyr. The name 'Lucina' derives from that of the Roman matron of the AD 4th century who permitted Christians to erect a church on the site. Putatively, Pope Marcellus I hid on the site during the persecutions of Roman Emperor Maxentius, and Pope Damasus I was elected there in AD 366. Pope Sixtus III consecrated a church on the site in 440 AD. The church was first reconstructed by Pope Paschal II in the early 12th century.
In 1606, Pope Paul V assigned the basilica to the order of Clerics Regular Minor. Cosimo Fanzago completely renovated the interior in the 17th century, including conversion of the lateral aisles of the basilica into chapels. The ceiling was also frescoed by the Neapolitan Mometto Greuter.
In the 19th century, in a subsequent restoration of the interior that Pope Pius I commissioned the Baroque decorations in the nave were replaced with frescoes that Roberto Bompiani painted.
In the rebuilding of 1650, the aisled basilical plan was destroyed and the lateral naves were replaced by Baroque chapels, which were then leased to noble families to decorate and use as mausolea. This was done by inserting walls behind the piers of the arcades. The arcades themselves have solid, square piers with imposts. The flat ceiling is coffered, gilded, and decorated with rosettes and has a painting of the Apotheosis of St. Lawrence in the central panel. This ceiling was made in 1857 under Pope Pius IX.
Guido Reni's Christ on the Cross (1639-40) is visible above the high altar, framed by six Corinthian columns of black marble. Below the altar is a reliquary in which is preserved the gridiron on which tradition maintains that St. Lawrence was martyred. The marble throne of Pope Paschal II in the apse behind the high altar has an inscription that records the translation to the basilica of its relics of St. Lawrence of Rome. A Madonna and Child with John of Nepomuk and Archangel Michael by Onofrio Avellino hangs in the apse behind the high altar.References:
Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.
The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.
In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.
Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.
Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.