Historical Churches of Rome

The locations of all places are shown on my Google-Earth Map

Northeastern Rome: Via Nomentana

Google-Maps (enlarge the magnification, this map is in 3-D)

Mausoleum di Santa Costanza
Daughters of Constantine, 360-370
Via Nomentana 349

Santa Costanza was built after Emperor Constantine I's (272-337 AD) death as a place of burial (mausoleum). Despite its name, the mausoleum of Santa Costanza was probably originally built for Constantia's younger sister Helena, who was married to emperor Julian the Apostate (ruled 361-63). As the daughter, sister and wife of successive emperors, Helena had considerable status, so it makes sense she would receive a burial place of great splendor.
Later, Constantina was venerated as a saint with the Italian name of Costanza, and the church was dedicated to her.
The ruins of the adjacent funerary church dedicated to Sant'Agnese, built around 320 by Constantine, are clearly visible on GE.

The highlight of Santa Costanza are the late 4th cent mosaics in the barrel vaulting of the ambulatory.

Via Nomentana 349 (bus nr 36, 60, 84, 90), ☎ 068610840. Mon to Sat 9am-noon, 4-6pm, Sun 4-6pm.

Sant'Agnese fuori le mura
4th cent catacombs below a 7th cent church

The Basilica di Sant'Agnese Fuori le Mura is a 7th century church notable for its mosaics,the shrine of the 13-years-old child martyr, St. Agnes, and catacombs. - To see the lower levels you need some personal introductions!

The romantic entrance to Sant'Agnese

The Apsis Mosaic (625 restored)

The catacombes below the chuch have several interesting early mosaics but are accessible only by special permission

Christ handing St. Peter the keys (4th century)
The naïve, early mosaics freely mix Christian symbolism and pagan motifs.


Santa Maria del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo 12, 1477, 1660

Santa Maria del Popolo was reconstructed by Baccio Pontelli and Andrea Bregno in 1472-1477, commissioned by the association of the Lombards of Rome, creating an excellent example of Italian Renaissance architecture. In 1655-60 the facade was modified by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who was asked by Pope Alexander VII to update the Renaissance church to a more modern Baroque style

The church is a treasure-trove of art. There are a couple of beautifully restored paintings by Caravaggio together with a sculpture by Bernini, frescoes by Pinturicchio and mosaics by Raphael.

Pinturicchio, Adoration of the Shepherds (around 1461)

“The Creation of the World”, the only mosaics by Raphael in the dome of the Capella Chigi
executed from Raphael's cartons by the Venitian master Luigi di Pace, 1516

Caravaggio, Crucifixion of St. Peter
Ceraci Chapel 1601

Carravaggio, Conversion of St. Paul
Ceraci Chapel 1600

Bernini, Habakkuk and the Angel, Chigi Chapel after 1654

Piazza del Popolo 12 (bus nr 95, 117, 119, 490), ☎ 063610836. Mon to Sat 7am to 12noon, 4 to 7 pm., Sun 7.30am to 1.30pm, 4.30to 7.30pm