The Church of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome
Church of Santa Maria Antiqua. Reopened to the public in March 2016, the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome was discovered in 1900 within the Roman Forum. It’s an inestimable treasure, closed for restorations since 1980s.
Built in the 6th century in the Roman Forum on the ruins of the Palace of Domitian, buried under rubble after an earthquake in 847, brought to light thanks to the 1900 excavations, the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome was closed to the public for 30 years.
The Church contains a unique collection of wall paintings, one of the few artistic exemplars in the world of the development of Roman and Hellenistic-Byzantine figurative art.
The Church hosts a lot of marvellous frescoes that defined it as “the Sistine Chapel of Imperial Forum”. The paintings cover a surface of about 250 square meters, and they are one of the few artistic exemplars in the world for the study on the development of early medieval and Byzantine art. They form one of the largest and most important collections of the pre-iconoclastic Roman and Byzantine art in the world. These frescoes date to a period of iconoclasm when, between the 8th– century and the 9th– century, in East most of the sacred figures in churches were destroyed.
The earthquake in 847 hid under the rubble its treasure which is now still available to the public.
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The Church of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome (Basilica di Santa Maria Antiqua)
Area del Foro Romano e Palatino, Roma