San Nicola In Carcere (in prison) – a “den full of popes”

Some future popes were incardinated in this church before becoming such, in addition to some well-known personalityVia del Pidocchio SN in carcere of Papal Rome discovering that Nicholas III, Boniface VIII and Alexander VI cardinals of San Nicola in Carcere does not make it even more fascinating, but the list of cardinals holding the title of this church helps us to understand how the power in the Middle Ages was  almost always in the hands of the noble families … Orsini, Caetani, Savelli, and Gonzaga, Rezzonico, and still Carafa, de Medici, and so on.


The church itself  is fascinating because the structure was built on 3 ancient roman (republican) temples whose remains can be seen both sides of the church, on its walls. In the side walls columns of one temple were incorporated, in the south: the columns of the temple of Spes, in the north: columns of the temple of Ianus, while on the central temple, on its podium,  we have  rests much of the medieval church was constructIMG_4808ed,  which perhaps existed already in the IX century and if it was not a church, at least a chapel.
notes the inscription on the top right column of the nave. The first recording which establishes the existence of the church is at the end of the eleventh century. Over the centuries to occur, there are several examples that describe its route that has its culmination in the creation of its facade by Giacomo della Porta in 1599. Front soaring, since the church was surrounded and trapped in the midst of the palaces of Piazza Montara . During the Fascist period, the church and other neighboring structures were “liberated” by the construction of the Via del Mare, and to exhibit the historical moment of imperial Rome, erasing often so unscientific other historical evidence of equivalent importance.

The real jewel of the church is its basement, which seems to be thrown in Roman times:-) because the three temples seem to have been rebuilt in the Middle Tiber, the period of which you can see the remains of the podium of the cells, columns and tall, but you can also see evidence of the temples before, that Republicans structures of the third and second century BCE

From the plant can be seen as lapianta 3 temples Republicans church was inserted into the structures of the three temples. Completely covering the temple median (Juno Sospita) and using the columns of the temple south (Spes) and north of the temple (Janus). Thanks to this “system” in the temple of Juno Sospito is this temple with most of the remains at our disposal. While the other two, in addition to the columns there remain few artifacts.

During excavations near the Marcellus theatre, parts of the podium of the fourth temple were found, the temple of Pietas. As a matter of fact this temple had been destroyed to make room for the theatre. This project was started by Julius Caesar but eventually built and finished by Augustus.

In front is a portico of granite is on the site of Port Carmentalis and side area of Sant’Omobono, a ‘wide area is very important for the city to the south of Campus Martius: Forum Holitorium (Vegetable Market) followed by the Forum Boarium (cattle market) near the Port Tiber – only with the construction of the new river port in the Testaccio area (Emporium) apart from the second century BCE the Tiber was abandoned, and thus the shape of temples and other buildings varied. However, the function of the vegetable market in this area continued even into the first decades of the ‘900.

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