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San Nicola in Carcere, Rome

4.1
#112 of 255 in Historic Sites in Rome
Church Tourist Spot
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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97 reviews
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4.4
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  • The Basilica of San Nicola in carcere, featuring Nicholas of Myra, is one of the minor Basilicas of Rome. It was named "in prison" from a prison there, dating back to the Byzantine era and named Carcer ad Elephantum. The Church collects contributions from ancient buildings (such as the three columns of the Temple of Juno). The organ of the basilica was built by Nicola Morettini in 1908 and has 9 records. It is still in good condition and working. The dedication to St. Nicholas comes from the fact that the Greek community living in the area, that worships especially this Holy
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  • Beautiful and slightly crowded. Unfortunately, you want to have for the lower range of money. The lighting could be a little better to look at the works of art. With much ISO in camera photos are possible
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  • You cannot imagine unless by accessing it on the advice of those who know and lived in Rome. Basilica on the Via Teatro di Marcello, already Out of the Empire. The Basilica itself anonymous. But enter it and you will immediately be catapulted into the heart of ancient Rome. Gracious, kind and caring hostess accompanies us in the belly of occult history and you walk out of bases of three ancient temples. The first dedicated to the God Janus, the second to the goddess Juno Sospita, and the third to the goddess of hope. But the wonders do not end here. Not to be missed.
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  • Light true wax lights for your loved ones. Possibility of descending under the church. Old and falling-to-pieces-look from the outside. Concerts are announced at the door.
  • Amazing but I agree with the top review; only worth it if you're passing by anyways. Don't go out of your way to visit.
  • Cool historical church
  • 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.

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Where to stay in Rome

For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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