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Inside the Santa Susanna church in Rome, Italy. 
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Inside the Santa Susanna church in Rome, Italy.

Wikipedia: "The Church of Saint Susanna at the baths of Diocletian (Italian: Chiesa di Santa Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano) is a Roman Catholic parish church on the Quirinal Hill in Rome, with a titulus associated to its site that dates back to about 280. The modern church dedicated to Saint Susanna was rebuilt in 1585–1603.

In 1921, Pope Benedict XV authorized the Paulist Fathers to use Santa Susanna to create the national church in Rome of the United States of America. The first public Mass for the American community was celebrated by Cardinal William Henry O'Connell on February 26, 1922 and until today, the English–speaking Roman parish ministers to American Catholics living in or visiting Rome. [...]

The church consists of a single nave, with a circular apse forming two side-chapels. The frescoes of the central nave by Baldassare Croce represent six scenes from the life of Susanna found in the Book of Daniel. The frescoes on the curved side of the apse shows Saint Susanna being threatened by Maximian, but defended by the angel of God and to the right, Susanna refusing to worship the idol Jupiter. Nebbia's frescoes of the dome of the apse depict Santa Susanna flanked on either side by angels with musical instruments. Behind the high altar, the painting depicting the beheading of Santa Susanna is by Tommaso Laureti".

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Inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy. 
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Inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy.
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The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, RomeThe Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome: a mosaic in the main naveThe Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Inside the church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome, Italy. 
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Inside the church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome, Italy.

Wikipedia: The Basilica of Saint Sabina at the Aventine is a titular minor basilica and mother church of the Roman Catholic Dominican order in Rome, Italy. Santa Sabina lies high on the Aventine Hill, beside the Tiber, close to the headquarters of the Knights of Malta.

Santa Sabina is an early basilica (5th century), with a classical rectangular plan and columns. The decorations have been restored to their original modesty, mostly white. Together with the light pouring in from the windows, this makes the Santa Sabina an airy and roomy place. Other basilicas, such as Santa Maria Maggiore, are often heavily and gaudily decorated. Because of its simplicity, the Santa Sabina represents the crossover from a roofed Roman forum to the churches of Christendom.

Santa Sabina was built by Priest Petrus of Illyria, a Dalmatian priest, between 422 and 432 on the site of the house of the Roman matron Sabina, who was later declared a Christian saint. It was originally near a temple of Juno.

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Inside the church of Sant'Alessio on the Aventine Hill in Rome, Italy. 
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Inside the church of Sant'Alessio on the Aventine Hill in Rome, Italy.

It was built in the 3rd or 4th century, and originally dedicated to St. Boniface the Martyr. It is therefore sometimes referred to as Santi Boniface e Alessio. In the 10th century, the church became a centre for the Benedictines and a departure point for some of the most important evangelizers at that time; St. Adalbert of Prague once set out from this church on his mission. In 1217, it was also dedicated to St. Alexis, the name by which it is known today.

The present church was built in the time of Pope Honorius III (1216–1227), and altered by T. de Marchis in 1750 on the orders of Angelo Maria Quirini. After 1846, when the Somaschi Fathers were installed here, further alterations have been carried out.

The church has beautiful Cosmatesque work on the floor, doorway and the two small columns of the choir. On one of the columns, there is an inscription naming the artists as Laurentius and stating that there were 19 columns. The fathers in the church say that the 17 missing columns were carried off by Napoleon. A statue of St. Alexis stands above an altar by the door. It shows him in pilgrim's clothes, clasping the letter which revealed his identity after death. The statue is by Andrea Bergondi, and was made in the late 18th century. Parts of the staircase that the saint lived beneath are preserved here. The crypt is from the 10th or 13th century. It's closed to the public most of the year, but at Christmas a crib, one of the most popular in Rome, is set up here. The crypt is in the Romanesque style; it is the only crypt in that style in Rome. Relics said to be of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury are preserved here. (Text based on the Churches of Rome Wikia).

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Inside the ancient church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. 
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Inside the ancient church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy.

"The church of S. Maria in Cosmedin is one of the most admired and best known to foreigners of all Rome’s ancient churches. This is probably partly due to the fact that it was one of the first to have been restored to the simple dignity of its ancient origins, in 1894–99. The old name for the church, S. Maria in Schola Graeca, reveals its origin. It was built in the sixth century to serve the Greek colony, whose numbers were later swollen by the arrival of refugees fleeing first from the Arab invasions and later from the iconoclasts. Schola, as we will recall, meant an association or confraternity, which could be the members of a foreign colony as well as a guild of artisans. The church was built on the site of the Ara Maxima of Hercules, reaching its present form and size in the amplification begun by Hadrian 1 in 782. Some of the columns of the ancient building are still to be seen in the church. Various interpretations have been put upon the word Cosmedin, but it is now generally believed to derive from Kosmidion, the name given by Greek refugees fleeing persecution in Byzantium, as the building recalled the church of the same name in Byzantium; this word in turn is related to the Greek kosmos, meaning ornament, and the root of our word ‘cosmetic’. S. Maria was enlarged in the eighth century, from which period dates a marble mosaic of opus sectile in front of the altar. The very fine cosmatesque pavement, choir and paschal candlestick are, however, of the twelfth century, the episcopal throne and beautiful altar canopy from the thirteenth, this last being executed in 1294 by Deodato, son of the famous Cosma. The portico, where the Bocca della Verità stands, and the superb campanile, were built in the twelfth century." (Georgina Masson: The Companion Guide to Rome, Woodbridge 2009).
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Thursday, Nov 2, 2017: On the walls of Palácio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal
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