Spectacular Art at the Basilica of Saint Praxedes in Rome

Basilica of Saint Praxedes in Rome, Italy

The Basilica di Santa Prassede all’Esquillin (commonly known in Italian as Santa Prassede) was my favourite church in Rome. Trust me, it’s hard to pick just one out of all the churches in the city, since every second building seems to be a church, basilica, or cathedral. Some of the churches are insanely opulent while others are quite modest. They come in all shapes and sizes. This one in particular is at the top of my list because of all the wonderful mosaics and frescoes that adorn the walls and ceiling of the church. The facade of Santa Prassede is so nondescript that it would be easy to pass it by. It could be just about any building in Rome, as the main entrance is nothing more than a typical arched doorway. Since the church was built from 780 – 822 AD, it was not constructed in the Gothic style as so many of the later churches and cathedrals were. No flying buttresses, spires, or skinny arched stained glass windows for this church. Just some of the most stunning paintings and artwork you will ever see.

Under the mosaic on the dome of Jesus; flanked by Peter, Paul, John, George, and Ringo (ok, ok, maybe not Ringo); there is an inscription in Latin.

EMICAT AULA PIAE VARIIS DEOCRATA METALLIS

PRAXEDIS D(OMI)NO SUPER AETHRA PLACENTIS HONORE

PONTIFICIS SUMMI STUDIO PASCHALIS ALUMNI

SEDIS APOSTOLICAE PASSIM QUI CORPORA CONDENS

PLURIMA S(AN)C(T)ORUM SUBTER HAEC MOENIA PONIT

FRETUS UT HIS LIMEN MEREATUR ADIRE POLORUM

For those very few people who aren’t fluent in Latin ;)

Here is the translation:

“The hall beams are decorated with various (precious) metals, in honour of the saintly Praxedes who has found pleasure with the Lord in heaven above, through the zeal of the Supreme Pontiff Paschal, raised to the Apostolic See, who collected the bodies of numerous saints and laid them beneath these walls, trusting that by his service he has merited as place in your house.”

If you are planning a trip to Rome, I urge you to take some time to visit this special place that inspired the epic poem “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church” by Robert Browning.

Basilica of Saint-Praxedes in Rome

Both of today’s photos are now available as limited edition prints on canvas or brushed aluminum.

Enjoy more travel photos and stories:

  1. says

    What an AMAZING place. Theologically, cathedrals (even though this is not a Gothic structure) were designed to give the parishioner a sense of the greatness of God through space, and, a sense of the beauty and majesty of God through stained glass and art. I would love to sing in there! Beautiful captures Ken.

  2. says

    Thank you Carlos and Richard, Carlos i hope hat you get to sing there one day, I’d love to hear that!

    I really appreciate the kind words Dottie, thanks for making me smile :)

  3. marivic cruz castro says

    its a nice painting…. i hope and i pray that i will visit it personally. my god its really amazing. more power

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