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San Giorgio in Velabro, Rome

4.6
#140 of 526 in Historic Sites in Rome
San Giorgio in Velabro is a church in Rome, Italy, devoted to St. George.The church is located in the ancient Roman Velabrum, near the Arch of Janus, in the rione of Ripa. Sited near the River Tiber, it is within a complex of Republican-era pagan temples associated with the port of Rome. The ancient Arcus Argentariorum is attached to the side of the church's façade.San Giorgio in Velabro is the station church for the first Thursday in Lent.HistoryThe first religious building attested in the place of the current basilica is a diaconia, funded by Pope Gregory the Great.The current church was built during the 7th century, possibly by Pope Leo II, who dedicated it to Saint Sebastian. A 482 inscription in the catacombs of St. Callixtus probably refers of a church in the same zone. Its plan is irregular, indeed slightly trapezoidal, as a result of the frequent additions to the building. As can be seen from the lower photograph, the interior columns are almost randomly arranged having been taken from sundry Roman temples.
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San Giorgio in Velabro Reviews
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  • In this area, according to the legend, was found the basket carrying Romulus and Remus from the wolf or Acca Larenzia. The Church was built between the 7th and 8th centuries and restored numerous times for the recurrence of flooding of the Tiber. The current facade is preceded by a porch supported by four brick pillars and on the left of can admire the beautiful bell tower. The church has a singular shape because the perimeter walls are not parallel, but converging towards the apse: in practice the rear wall is narrower than the facade. The interior is three aisles, divided by a double row of eight marble and granite columns with Ionic and Corinthian capitals. Under the altar are preserved the head, the sword and a flap of St. George. In July 1993, a terrorist attack destroyed the now-restored porch.
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  • Church erected in the 7th century which was then restored several times until it took on the current appearance during the Middle Ages. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the arch of Janus and generally uncrowded with visitors, reserves for those who visit it a very sober and intimate atmosphere. From the outside you can admire the facade with the porch entirely rebuilt after the 1993 bombing and the high four-order bell tower of trifore. The interior is rather bare and the attention as soon as you enter is captured by the main altar and the fresco of the apse, but the beauty of this church perhaps lies precisely in its simplicity.
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  • According to the founding legend of Rome, the church was built where Roman history began: it is here that the she-wolf found Romulus and Remus The first religious building on this site, a Diaconia (a ...  more »
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  • This is a very interesting Basilica, especially if you are connected with the Oratory schools or John Henry Newman. It isn't opulent, over decorated, huge or close to the main thoroughfares of Rome. But, this was the church given to him when he lived in Rome. I defy you to find a right angle in any of the walls! A small plaque mentions JHN, it really was and is a fundamental part of his story.
  • Really exquisite church that you could easily walk past but an amazing church in itself - the history is evident all around with a beautiful front piece.
  • Very old church worthing the visit. That's the place where Italian scouts gather together to renew the scout promise.
  • Hidden jewel in Rome. Find this church and go in
  • Opening hours for the church seem to be unclear at present (2017), and different guidebooks and online sources give differing times. Unfortunately, the church's website is coy. Apart from the times of liturgy (see below), a reliable unofficial source in 2017 advertises that the church is open on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 12:30 and 16:00 to 18:15. So, you might find it closed on Mondays and Thursdays. This is basically a 7th century church, although the interior aspect is actually modern after it suffered a savage Fascist restoration in 1926. This removed all post-mediaeval features. The portico also now counts as modern, having been blown up by a Mafia bomb in 1993 and rebuilt from the re-used rubble. The church is rather out of the way, and you might find yourself on your own in there -especially in winter. Its ambience is very peaceful and timeless. However, it is very popular for weddings and you might find one going on. The canons in charge advise that they won't do more than three a day! The church and convent are the headquarters of the Order of the Holy Cross, and the brethren worship in English. Liturgical events are in the church in summer, but in the convent chapel in winter. Mass is celebrated: Weekdays 7:30; Sundays and Solemnities 8:30. The Divine Office is celebrated: Weekdays: 7:30 Lauds, 18:30 Vespers; Weekends: 8:00 Lauds, 19:00 Vespers. If you wish to attend in winter, you have to ring the doorbell at Via del Velabro 19.
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