Rotonda di San Lorenzo

Mantua, Italy

The Rotonda di San Lorenzo is the most ancient church in Mantua. It is now sunk below the level of the Piazza della Erbe. It probably stands on the site of a Roman temple that was dedicated to the goddess Venus.

It was built during the reign of the Canossa family in the late 11th century. Inspired by the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem and dedicated to the martyr St. Lawrence, it has a central plan and has maintained ancient features like the matronaeum (loggia for female faithful) and frescoes of the Byzantine school from the 11th-12th century. Another fresco fragment in the apse, portraying the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence, dates to the 15th century. The construction, according to the Lombard tradition, is in bricks, but has two columns and other details in marble, coming from ancient edifices.

Deconsecrated, it was used for dwellings, shops and stores, and at the beginning of the 20th century it was covered by other edifices. Later, it was restored and the external additions removed.

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Address

Piazza Erbe, Mantua, Italy
See all sites in Mantua

Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Shannon Wentworth (2 years ago)
I would love to travel back in time to see this 11th century church when it was new. Sadly it was abandoned as a church in the 1500s. The few remaining frescoes are amazing.
Dam Car (2 years ago)
Just opposite the Basilica di Sant'Andrea is a lovely little chapel called “Rotonda di San Lorenzo”. The most ancient church in the city (11th century), inspired by the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem and dedicated to St Lawrence. Completely round with beautiful Byzantine frescoes. You can feel the history as soon as you walk in the door and also a great way to escape from the heat for a few minutes. A card (in various languages) is available at the entrance explaining several features. Very well worth a few minutes of your time.
Haris Aslanidis (3 years ago)
Reminds me of one same that we have here in Greece, in Thessaloniki, and it proves that countries had commercial and architectural relationships.
Dan Gray (3 years ago)
Cool little unique ancient church.
Bart Van den Bosch (3 years ago)
Small round and scientist little church. Very cozy. Impressive to see what a ruin it was prior to restauration.
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