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PARADOXPLACE CHURCHES OF ROME

 

THE MAJOR BASILICA OF

SAN PAOLO FUORI LE MURA

 

 

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The beauty of the old cloisters of San Paolo fuori le Mura contrasts strongly with the grim and unspiritual grandeur of the facade and nave of the Basilica next door - an 1800s "no money spared" internationally funded rebuild after a major fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from "The Major Basilicas of Rome" by Roberta Vicchi

 

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The Porta Santa, located on the right side of the main entrance (the south facade - the church is orientated N-S) has bronze doors which were made in Constantinople in 1070.  They contain 54 panels showing scenes from the old and new testaments - the top central panel in the detail above shows the crucifixion of Saint Pater (see the door from the inside - there is a light on the right).

 

The doors were a gift from the merchant Pantaleone of Amalfi, who with his son Mauro ran a profitable Amalfi-Constantinople trading operation.  Between 1060 and 1076 Pantaleone and Mauro also gave bronze doors to the Cathedral of Amalfi (1060), the Abbey of Montecassino (1066) and Monte Sant'Angelo in the Gargano (1076).

 

MEDIEVAL BRONZE DOORS IN ITALIAN CHURCHES 1060 - 1200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spandrel sculpture of Adam and Eve.  This photo above comes from an outstanding coffee table book called "Cloisters of  Europe" which is presently out of print, but can be obtained on the second hand  book market at very reasonable prices.

 

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