Thursday, September 13, 2012

Penny Visits Another Church

Last Monday I decided to visit San Lorenzo Maggiore since most museums in Milan are closed on Mondays.  We had walked by this church several times on our way to the laundromat and I was curious about what it was like on the inside.  I discovered that this church was begun in the 4th century AD.  It is built above what is believed to be a Roman amphitheater.

This is the front of the church.

 Further out front is this row of sixteen Roman columns. They were moved here from another nearby building that was possibly a pagan temple.

Another view of the columns:

And here in the front is also a statue of the Emperor Constantine.  This is a copy of a bronze statue that is in Rome.

My guidebook tells me that Milan was colonized by the Romans in 222 BC.  It quickly grew to be an important city because it was at the junction of several trading routes.  It was called "Mediolanum" which they believe meant city in the middle of the plain. Here in 313 AD Constantine issued the Edict of Milan which recognized Christianity as a permitted religion of the empire.This ended centuries of Christian persecution.

Now for a peek inside:

Here is the main altar.  When I first walked inside the church I was surprised by how small it seemed.  It looks massive on the outside, but the part under the dome is not very large - at least compared to the Duomo!

A view of the inside of the dome

 The pipe organ

 I like the paintings on some of the walls the best:

and my favorite:

I believe this is St Helena, the mother of Constantine.

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