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Santa Maria in Cosmedin - Crypt of Adrian I - Roma, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member denben
N 41° 53.290 E 012° 28.883
33T E 291041 N 4640427
Quick Description: The Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin is a Catholic place of worship in Rome, located in Piazza della Bocca della Verità, in the Ripa distric; officiated by the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 8/4/2019 12:10:58 PM
Waymark Code: WM112FP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 0

Long Description:
The church was built in the 8th century, during the Byzantine Papacy, over the remains of the Templum Herculis Pompeiani in the Forum Boarium and of the Statio annonae, one of the food distribution centres of ancient Rome.

The small crypt is located beneath the altar and was built to store the relics taken from the catacombs by Pope Adrian I. It has been restored, and is again open to visitors after a period of closure. The entry is on the left hand side of the schola.

It is a puzzle as to why a crypt was originally provided, as it is not on record that a shrine of a particular saint or saints was ever established here. A clue may lie in a lead plate dug up next to the church in the 19th century, which had an inscription which read:

"Hic habentur reliquie Apostolorum, de vestibus et corporibus ceterorum sanctorum: S. Tiburtii subdiaconi, S. Avree et Sociorum, S. Ciraci Episcopi et restitute S. Calixti Pape, S. Tiburtii et Valeriani, S. Iuliani m. Ceryni presbyteri, S. Lucine, lapis Stephani, St Felicis Pape, Emerentiane, SS Quadraginta, Maria, de lapide Sancti Sepulcri, Demetri ossa aliorum sanctorum."

The plate was mediaeval, about 12th century, but seems to imply that the crypt was originally a reliquary with a collection of relics for veneration by pilgrims. That theory is supported by the niches on both side that seem perfect to hold funerary urns.

The crypt itself is a miniature basilica with six columns, three on each side. The columns have no bases (they are inserted into the floor) and derivative composite capitals with simplified acanthus leaves. At the far end you can see the masonry that is claimed to belong to the original altar of Hercules. The present altar used to contain the relics of St Cyril, which were transferred upstairs.

Source: (visit link)
Active: no

Accessible: yes

Admission fee: No

Web documentation: [Web Link]

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