Rome, Italy: Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains: Entrance

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May 20, 2017
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Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains , San Paolo alle Tre Fontane , Church of the Martyrdom of Saint Paul , Church of St. Paul the Apostle , Abbazia delle Tre Fontane , Abbey of the Three Fountains
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The entrance to the Church of St. Paul at the Three Fountains. Four miles outside the city of Rome, Italy is the Abbey of the Three Fountains, run by Cisterian monks belonging to the Trappist order. The complex contains three churches, of which Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains (Church of the Martyrdom of Saint Paul; San Paolo alle Tre Fontane; Church of St. Paul the Apostle) is most sacred. This church was built on the site where Saint Paul was beheaded at Emperor Nero's order. As a Roman citizen, Saint Paul could not be executed within the city. The legend is that Paul's head bounced three times and fountains sprang up at each spot; hence, the title of "Three Fountains." Actually, fountains already existed at the site when Paul was beheaded. The church's facade alternates bricks and travertine. Double pilastered columns with Ionic capitals flank the entrance door with its small pediment. Over this pediment, on the architrave, a large marble plaque attributes the building to Cardinal Aldobrandini and bears the inscription (in Latin): "Place of the martyrdom of Saint Paul where three springs miraculously flowed." Statues of St. Peter and St. Paul stand on the larger pediment-style roof over the vestibule. An additional lunette tops the facade.
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CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
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