San Giovanni a Porta Latina

Rome, Italy

San Giovanni a Porta Latina (Italian: 'Saint John Before the Latin Gate') is a Basilica church near the Aurelian Wall. According to Tertullian, in year 92, St John the Evangelist survived martyrdom at Rome under the Emperor Domitian by being immersed in a vat of boiling oil, from which he emerged unharmed. He was later exiled to island of Patmos. This event was traditionally said to have occurred at the Latin Gate (located on the southern portion of the Roman wall). The nearby chapel of San Giovanni in Oleo is said to be on this very spot. The event was referred to in the Roman Martyrology, which was begun in the seventh century, when already there was a celebration of the event.

The tradition for the building of the Basilica of St. John at the Latin Gate places its construction during the pontificate of Pope Gelasius I (492-496). This is consistent with the oldest of the roof tiles, which have the imprint of a taxation stamp for the Ostrogoth King and ruler of Italy Theodoric the Great (reigned 493-526). One of these ancient roof tiles is now used in the Basilica as a lectern.

In the 8th century, the Basilica was restored by Pope Adrian I, and later the bell-tower and portico were added, and at the end of the 12th century the Basilica was reconsecrated by Pope Celestine III. In the 16th and 17th centuries, a Baroque ceiling and other Baroque features were added to the interior. In the years 1940-1941, the Baroque features were removed and the Basilica was returned to a more primitive simplicity. This last renovation was carried out by the Rosminian Fathers, who, in 1938, were given care of the Basilica and the nearby building, where they opened the Collegio Missionario Antonio Rosmini which houses their International House of Studies.

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Founded: 492 AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gabriele Busnelli (3 years ago)
Unless you’re some sort of athlete, the only way to get here is by bus. But boy, it’s worth it! The church preserves an amazing medieval cycle of frescoes, one of the not many left in the city of Rome. Be careful: opening times on the websites are not always the real ones, so it’s always best to call.
Mathias Paul (4 years ago)
Good for faith
Renny Markose (5 years ago)
There are antique paintings in the Church.. church building is attached to the Aurelian walls..
Sandra Brady (5 years ago)
Got married here 25 years ago. Still stunning!
Francesco Scamallo (5 years ago)
San Giovanni a Porta Latina è una delle più antiche chiese basilicali di Roma, eretta vicino a Porta Latina, nei pressi delle Mura aureliane, sulla Via Latina.Vi si trovano splendidi e preziosi affreschi. È un posto dove la pace regna sovrana.Qui mi sono sposato nel lontano 1982 e sono felice di avere scelto questa suggestiva chiesa.
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