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Basilica of St.John in Lateran

The Basilica of St.John in Lateran in Rome is located on the southern part of the Celio Hill, on the properties that during the imperial era were belonging to the family of the Laterani and to whom they were taken away by Nerone after that, during a conspiracy, the consul Plauzio Laterano had attempted to his life.

After some minor interventions of the emperors Marco Aurelio and Settimio Severo, around 313 after Christ was built in this area, on the order of Constantine, a basilica with five apses dedicated to Christ Saver. Given as a gift to the Pontiff, the basilica of St.John in Lateran, after being the headquarters of the first council of Melchiade against the Donatisti, faced the destructions of Alarico and of the Vandals of Genserico. Since 440 after Christ the structure has seen numerous restorations and interventions, works of Leone Magno, Ilario, Adriano I and Sergio II; however, because of the earthquake of 896 after Christ, the church was almost completely destroyed.
After that, more than one time, St.John in Lateran was damaged by natural calamities such as the fires of 1308 and 1361, and the earthquakes of 1349 or it was also damaged by the destructions of the invaders populations such as the army of Ladislao of Hungary in 1413, but always the various Pontiffs went back to restore and increase the magnificence of the basilica, as did in diverse times Urbano V, Gregorio IX and Martino V. When more than 1300 year has passed since the pose of the first stone, because of the static flow side of the carrier structures, it became necessary to proceed to a complete rebuilding that Innocenzo X decided to give to Borromini.
The façade with five passages characterised by the 15 grandiose statues of Christ surrounded by Saints, is a project of Alessandro Galilei dating back to 1734, which, according to some persons, was preferred to Luigi Vanvitelli by the Pontiff Clemente XII because of their common Tuscany origins. Through the portico of the façade, which welcomes the statue of Constantine, originally placed in the imperial terms on the Quirinale, and the five doors, among which the central ones in bronze from the 1st century after Christ which were fused for the palace of the Senate in the Forum, one access to the basilica with 5 apses and a Latin cross plan approximately 130 metres long. The internal part of the Basilica of St.John in Lateran welcomes some precious artistic treasures:

·                                 The ceiling of the school of Michelangelo dating back to around 1562 after Christ

·                                 The pavement with mosaics of Vassalletto from the 13th century

·                                 The papal altar with tabernacle under the triumphal arch, also form the 13th century

·                                 The reliquaries, work of Valadier, in substitution to those lost during the French occupation of Rome in 1799, containing the skulls of San Pietro and San Paolo.

·                                 The mosaics of Jacopo Torriti and Jacopo da Camerino and the "chair" of the Bishop of Rome in the apse.

·                                 The cloister with the spiral pillars recovered by mosaics of Vassalletto nowadays unfortunately gone lost.

Still nowadays the complex of St. John in Lateran is considered the church "Caput et mater omnium ecclesiarum Urbis et Orbis" so that, there, ended with the "Lateranensi Pacts" of 1929 the drags between the Holy See and the Italian State concerning the possess of some goods from the part of the Pontiff, and it is also there that Pope Giovanni Paolo II wanted to contribute to the furnishing of the basilica with a painting of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, nowadays hosted in the Massimo chapel.