Rome, Italy: Basilica of Saint Praxedes: High Altar

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Sheppard, Beth M.
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19-May-17
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Italy , Rome , Basilica di Santa Prassede all Esquilino , Basilica of Saint Praxedes , High Altars , Baldachins , Corinthian Columns , Mosaic Floors
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The Basilica of Saint Praxedes (in Italian: Basilica di Santa Prassede, commonly known as Santa Prassede) is a Catholic basilica located in the Rione Esquilino (or district of Esquiline). Esquiline is the name of a Roman hill, one of seven on which the ancient city was built. The church was rebuilt by Pope Pasquale I in 822 CE and was restored multiple times since then. It was built principally as a resting place for the relics of Roman martyrs and was dedicated to the second-century Saint Praxedes, who was the daughter of a Roman senator. Along with her sister, Praxedes provided comfort and care to Christians persecuted in the Roman Empire. The sisters were murdered for burying early Christian martyrs, which defied Roman law. The church is known for being the most important example of early Christian Byzantine art in Rome because of the mosaics decorating its apse and side chapels. The photograph shows the central nave (of three), with large granite Corinthian columns on a mosaic floor. Four of the sixteen original columns, which directly support the entablature, were later incorporated into reinforcement pillars which support three large transverse arches decorated with 17th century frescoes featuring the Apostles and the Passion of Christ. The high altar, shown right of center in the photograph, is emphasized with a baldachin topping four porphyry and multiple marble columns. This elaborate structure of Baroque style was built by the order of Cardinal Luigi Pico della Mirandola in 1730.
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CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
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