Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Lazio  /  Rome  /  Historic Sites  /  San Nicola in Carcere

San Nicola in Carcere, Rome

Categories: Churches, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 80 reviews on the web
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.
Arrange your visit to San Nicola in Carcere and discover more family-friendly attractions in Rome using our Rome trip generator.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • We have gone over many times and it is very ramshackle out from. But this time we looked into. We real wax candles lit for our loved ones (no electricity). Very dark in here. They advertise with classical concerts and the opportunity to get down in the cellars under the Church.
    show original
  • San Nicola in Carere or St Nicholas in Prision was originally constructed in 1128 from the ruins of the Forum Holitorium and its Temples. It was built over three Roman pagan temples parts of which can...  read more »
  • I visited the Church with great expectation to visit the basement, since it is a building about three others. Unfortunately it was closed.
    show original
  • 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!
  • Beautiful church to see ... Guided tours can also be very interesting ....
    show original
  • A gorgeous building
    show original
  • Beautiful church
    show original
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 4​h
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h