San Lorenzo in Piscibus Church Rome

The San Lorenzo in Piscibus Church is located in the rione Borgo in Rome. It was built in the 12th century, but has lost much of its importance especially with the construction of the Via della Conciliazione.

San Lorenzo in Piscibus Church Rome

Useful information

The address of the Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Piscibus is Via Padre Pancrazio Pfeiffer (tel. +39 06 69885332). However, the church can only be viewed from the courtyard of Via Pfeiffer, 24. The apse can be seen from the Borgo Santo Spirito.

Apse San Lorenzo in Piscibus Church Rome
Apse

History and description

First mentioned in 1143, the San Lorenzo in Piscibus Church was probably built on an earlier church dedicated to Santo Stefano or Santa Galla, which had been destroyed during the Barbarian invasions.

Once constructed, the church was dedicated to San Lorenzo, the martyr who gave the church’s possessions to the poor to keep them out of the hands of the pagans. The addition Piscibus had to do with the fact that there was a fish market nearby.

The small bell tower dates from the 12th century.

From the 16th century, the church was administered first by the Clerics and then by a lay brotherhood of the Santo Spirito in Sassia Complex. The church was incorporated is a palace that belonged to Cardinal Francesco Armellini.

In 1659, the church was completely converted into a private chapel by order of the Cesi family. The altar piece “The Wedding Ceremony of the Virgin” dates back to that time.

The “Brothers of the Christian Schools” were entrusted with the management in the same year. In 1733 the order used a sum of money received from the Pope to buy three neighboring houses and have the architect Domenico Navone restore the complex. He enlarged the atrium and created a new facade on the Borgo Vecchio.

At the beginning of the 20th century the so-called Spina del Borgo had to make way for the Via della Conciliazione. The church survived, but had to give up the facade and atrium. It was also hidden behind the palaces of the new street.

The architects Galeazzi and Prandi wanted to preserve the Baroque decorations. However, fear that the church might collapse, plus a lack of money made this impossible and the church was returned to the original Romanesque style.

The interior consists of three naves separated by 11 columns. The brick walls are not decorated. The altar consists of a single block of marble.

The deconsecrated church was first converted into a study for the papal school Pius IX and then into a studio for the sculptor Pericle Fazzini.

In 1983 the church was rededicated by Pope John Paul II.

San Lorenzo in Piscibus Church Rome


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