The San Lazzaro in Borgo church is located in the Della Vittoria neighborhood, north of the Vatican in Rome. It is also known as San Lazzaro dei Lebbrosi. The church stands along the last stretch of what used to be the Via Francigena pilgrimage route.
San Lazzaro in Borgo Church Rome
Address and opening times
Address: Borgo San Lazzaro, snc – Rome (District: Della Vittoria). Public transportation: Bus: 31, 33. Opening Hours: Open only for special events.
In the 12th century, a French priest who had been cured of leprosy founded a church, initially called Santa Maria Maddalena, in this spot. A hospice next to this church was later converted into a lazaret.
The church probably die not acquire its current name until the 15th century.
In those days, the church still played an important role in spiritual life. Cardinals used to meet messengers from abroad there. It is also possible, although there is no evidence for this, that popes who resided outside Rome at the time of their election used to don their official papal robes in San Lazzaro Church before setting off for the Vatican.
During the 1527 sack of Rome, the church was severely damaged. A French priest really named Domenico Gallison, but according to a plaque next to the main altar Gargonza, had the church restored.
The church was abandoned in the early 19th century. Only toward the end of the 20th century did new restorations take place. Of the lazaret no traces are left at all.
The exterior of the Chiesa di San Lazzaro is of simple Romanesque architecture. The facade is characterized by a large entrance door, with the coat of arms of the Capitolo di San Pietro, a rose window and two monophoras. On the roof is a simple bell tower.
The church has a basilical floor plan with three naves, separated by rows of three columns each.
What to see
Near the main altar, there are partially preserved frescoes depicting God the Father, with the text “Salvator mundi salva nos“.
The plaque near the high altar refers to the restoration of the church by the French priest Domenico Gallison in 1536.
The painting “of “”Mary Magdalene” at one of the side altars was donated to the church in the 16th century by the Brotherhood of Winemakers.