A Tourist in Rome - Santa Prassede
|Location:||1/2 block south from Santa Maria Maggiore|
|Metro:||Cavour, located along my Southeastern Sights Walking Tour|
|Time:||about 1 hour|
|Hours:||7:30 AM - 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM|
The church of Santa Prassede in its current form was commissioned by Pope Hadrian I around the year 780 AD, built on top of the remains of a 5th century structure designed to house the bones of Saint Praxedes. Today the church is most famous for its impressive mosaics throughout the church. The apse mosaic (1st photo below) features Jesus in the center, with Saints Peter and Paul on his left and right. On the far left is Paschal, with the square halo of the living, hoping his offering of a model of the church is enough to guarantee his place in heaven. There are also mosaics in the chapel of St. Zeno (3rd and 4th photos below). At the top of a spiral staircase is a small room with a fresco cycle dating from the 8th century depicting St. Praxedes. Finally, Santa Prassede houses a segment of the pillar upon which Jesus was flogged and tortured before his crucifixion (2nd photo below) in Jerusalem, retrieved by St. Helena (mother of Constantine) in the 4th century AD. She also retrieved wood from Jesus' crib now housed in the nearby Santa Maria Maggiore.