Tuesday, January 9, 2018


The original name of this gate of the Aurelian Walls was Porta Flaminia
In the tenth century it was known as Porta di S. Valentino as the Via Flaminia passing under it leads in about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) to the Catacomb of S. Valentino venerated for centuries by pilgrims
It was called Porta del Popolo probably for the nearby church of S. Maria del Popolo built in 1099 by Pasquale II Raniero Blera (1099/1118) with a more or less voluntary subscription of the Roman people
The gate is now about 1.5 m (5 feet) above the ancient level of Rome
It was rebuilt in 1561/62 by Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) to whom the work was subcontracted by Michelangelo Buonarroti, who had been assigned the job by Pius IV Medici (1559/65)
Four of the six columns were taken from the ancient Basilica of St. Peter
The original towers with circular bases were replaced by two massive square watchtowers and the whole building was equipped with battlements
In 1658 between the two pairs of columns were inserted by the will of Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67) the statues of “St. Peter” and “St. Paul” about 1639/52 by Francesco Mochi (1580/1654)
They had been originally made for the Basilica of St. Paul but they were refused. Since 1980 there are copies and the originals are in the Museum of Rome at Palazzo Braschi
1655 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for Alexander VII on the occasion of the arrival in Rome of Queen Christina of Sweden celebrated in the inscription
The side arches were opened only in 1887
Near the door was found a “Measuring Stone for Customs” dating back to 175 AD, a type of measurement also found by other gates

No comments:

Post a Comment