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San Nicola in Carcere, Rome

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San Nicola in Carcere is a titular church in Rome near the Forum Boarium in rione Sant'Angelo. It is one of the traditional stational churches of Lent.HistoryThe first church on the site was probably built in the 6th century, and a 10th-century inscription may be seen on a fluted column next to the entrance, but the first definite dedication is from a plaque on the church dating to 1128. The inscriptions found in S. Angelo, a valuable source illustrating the history of the Basilica, have been collected and published by Vincenzo Forcella.It was constructed in and from the ruins of the Forum Holitorium and its temples, along with a jail (carcer) which a tradition (supported by Pliny's history of Rome) states was sited in the temples' ruins. However, the in Carcere (in jail) part of the name of the church was only changed to "in Carcere Tulliano" in the 14th century, owing to an erroneous identification. The prison was really that of Byzantine times (LPD i.515, n13; ii.295, n12).Spolia from all these ancient remains is still apparent in the church's construction, most particularly three columns from the Temple of Juno Sospita which are incorporated into both the 10th century and 1599 north façades of the church.The dedication to St Nicholas was made by the Greek population in the area. In the 11th century, it was known as the church of Petrus Leonis, referring to the converted Jewish family, the Pierleoni, who rebuilt the nearby Theatre of Marcellus as a fortress. One of their members, Pietro Pierleone, was an important cardinal in the 1120s and was elected Pope Anacletus II, though he was later branded a schismatic antipope.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • For €3 a mooch round the underground chambers can be had in this unpreposessing scaffolded basilica which most walk by to get to the Bocca della Verita. They only let one party down at a time which ad...  more »
  • You can see how built the Church on top of a Roman temple. For Mexican Catholics there is a Virgin of Guadalupe in its interior.
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  • I've been in the Church of San Nicola in Carcere en December 2016, when I stayed a week in Rome. Did some tours outside the conventional tourism and chose this church to visit. She has on one of the exterior walls four colonnades of pagan temples. It was built possibly in the 6th century on the ruins of the Forum Holitorium and its temples. She is soon after the theatre of Marcello and the Temple of Octavia. Internally, it is small and beautiful. Be sure to buy a ticket for 3 euros and down into the basement of the building, which will have the vision of the bases of the colonnades of the pagan temples. I've been inside a room and spent the hand, gently, in a Colonnade, which is visible on the wall. Too beautiful!
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  • Worth a stop if you're passing by but don't go out of your way
  • Church built on top of three old temples - some of their old columns are integrated in the walls. You can enter the underground site of the old temples.
  • Beautiful!
  • Turn on real wax candles for your loved ones. The opportunity to come down below the Church. Ramshackle and old from the outside. Concerts are announced.
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  • The medieval church of the 12th-14th centuries. Where the church now stands, was three temples dedicated to Iunona, Janusu and the goddess hopes the EUSR. Remnants of these temples are visible both outside and inside the Church.
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