San Crisogono Church

Rome, Italy

San Crisogono in Trastevere is dedicated to the martyr Saint Chrysogonus. It was probably built in the 4th century under Pope Silvester I (314–335), rebuilt in the 12th century by John of Crema, and again by Giovanni Battista Soria, funded by Scipione Borghese, in the early 17th century.

The bell tower dates from the 12th century rebuilding. The interior of the church was rebuilt in the 1620s on the site of a 12th-century church. The 22 granite columns in the nave are reused antique columns. The floor is cosmatesque mosaic, but most of it is hidden by the pews. The confessio in the sanctuary area is from the 8th century. The high altar is from 1127, with a baldachino from (1627 or 1641) by G.B Soria.

Remains from the first church, possibly from the reign of Constantine I, and earlier Roman houses can be seen in the lower parts, reached by a staircase in the sacristy. The ruins are confusing, but you can easily find the apse of the old church and you can see the remains of the martyr's shrine in middle of the apse wall. The church had an uncommon form; rather than the normal basilical plan with a central nave and two aisles on the sides, it had a single nave.

The paintings are from the 8th to the 11th century, and include Pope Sylvester Capturing the Dragon, St Pantaleon Healing the Blind Man, St Benedict Healing the Leper and The Rescue of St Placid.

Several sarcophagi have been preserved here, some beautifully decorated.

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Founded: 4th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steph Grima (2 years ago)
Beautiful and intricate basilica. Simply stunning. The condition of the entire building is in perfect state, from floor to ceiling.. indoors and outdoors. Lovely, and underrated... not sure why!
Francis Tiso (2 years ago)
A peaceful jewel in Trastevere where one can meditate very well. Excellent cosmatesque floor.
linda payson (2 years ago)
Not terribly exciting. Nice mosaics on the floor.
Nilesh Dodiyar (3 years ago)
Nice underground besilica and probably the first parish church in Rome.
G J (3 years ago)
You’ve got to check out this basilica and especially the excavation beneath! You will pay a couple of euro to a man sitting near the sacristy who let you down the stairs into another world! A relatively new excavation with not a lot of monitoring or signage you can see the remnants of ancient art work the ancient pagan and Christian homes that the Basilica is built on top of, water cistern that probably served as a baptismal font, sarcophagi, etc. really amazing. Go!
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