The Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Italian: Basilica Papale di San Paolo fuori le Mura), commonly known as St. Paul's Outside the Walls, is one of Rome's four ancient, papal, major basilicas,[a] along with the basilicas of St. John in the Lateran, St. Peter's, and St. Mary Major.
The basilica is within Italian territory and not the territory of the Vatican City State, but the Holy See owns the Basilica, and Italy is legally obligated to recognize its full ownership and to concede to it "the immunity granted by International Law to the headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States".
James Michael Harvey was named Archpriest of the basilica in 2012.
|Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls|
|Papal Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls|
Façade of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
Location of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome
|Website||Basillica of St. Paul Outside the Walls|
|Status||Papal major basilica|
|Dedication||Paul the Apostle|
|Consecrated||AD 4th century|
|Architect(s)||Luigi Poletti (reconstruction)|
|Groundbreaking||AD 4th century|
|Length||150 metres (490 ft)|
|Width||80 metres (260 ft)|
|Nave width||30 metres (98 ft)|
|Height||73 metres (240 ft)|
|Archpriest||James Michael Harvey|
|Official name||Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura|
|Criteria||i, ii, iii, iv, vi|
|Designated||1980 (4th session)|
|State Party||Italy and Holy See|
|Region||Europe and North America|
The basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over the burial place of St. Paul, where it was said that, after the Apostle's execution, his followers erected a memorial, called a cella memoriae. This first basilica was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324.
In 386, Emperor Theodosius I began erecting a much larger and more beautiful basilica with a nave and four aisles with a transept. It was probably consecrated around 402 by Pope Innocent I. The work, including the mosaics, was not completed until Leo I's pontificate (440–461). In the 5th century it was larger than the Old St. Peter's Basilica. The Christian poet Prudentius, who saw it at the time of emperor Honorius (395–423), describes the splendours of the monument in a few expressive lines.
Under Leo I, extensive repair work was carried out following the collapse of the roof on account of fire or lightening. In particular, the transept (i.e. the area around Paul's tomb) was elevated and a new main altar and presbytery installed. This was probably the first time that an altar was placed over the tomb of St. Paul, which remained untouched, but largely underground given Leo's newly elevated floor levels. Leo was also responsible for fixing the triumphal arch and for restoring a fountain in the courtyard (atrium).
Under Pope St. Gregory the Great (590–604) the main altar and presbytery were extensively modified. The pavement in the transept was raised and a new altar was placed above the earlier altar erected by Leo I. The position was directly over St. Paul's sarcophagus.
In that period there were two monasteries near the basilica: St. Aristus's for men and St. Stefano's for women. Masses were celebrated by a special body of clerics instituted by Pope Simplicius. Over time the monasteries and the basilica's clergy declined; Pope St. Gregory II restored the former and entrusted the monks with the basilica's care.
As it lay outside the Aurelian Walls, the basilica was damaged in the 9th century during a Saracen raid. Consequently, Pope John VIII (872–82) fortified the basilica, the monastery, and the dwellings of the peasantry, forming the town of Johannispolis (Italian: Giovannipoli) which existed until 1348, when an earthquake totally destroyed it.
In 937, when Saint Odo of Cluny came to Rome, Alberic II of Spoleto, Patrician of Rome, entrusted the monastery and basilica to his congregation and Odo placed Balduino of Monte Cassino in charge. Pope Gregory VII was abbot of the monastery and in his time Pantaleone, a rich merchant of Amalfi who lived in Constantinople, presented the bronze doors of the basilica maior, which were executed by Constantinopolitan artists; the doors are inscribed with Pantaleone's prayer that the "doors of life" may be opened to him. Pope Martin V entrusted it to the monks of the Congregation of Monte Cassino. It was then made an abbey nullius. The abbot's jurisdiction extended over the districts of Civitella San Paolo, Leprignano, and Nazzano, all of which formed parishes.
The graceful cloister of the monastery was erected between 1220 and 1241.
From 1215 until 1964 it was the seat of the Latin Patriarch of Alexandria.
On 15 July 1823, a workman repairing the lead of the roof started a fire that led to the near total destruction of this basilica, which, alone among all the churches of Rome, had preserved much of its original character for 1435 years.
Pope Leo XII issued a document Ad plurimas encouraging donations for reconstruction. It was re-opened in 1840, and reconsecrated in 1855 in the presence of Pope Pius IX and fifty cardinals. The basilica was reconstructed identically to what it had been before, utilizing all the elements which had survived the fire. The complete decoration and reconstruction, in charge of Luigi Poletti, took longer, however, and many countries made their contributions. Muhammad Ali Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt sent pillars of alabaster, the Emperor of Russia the precious malachite and lapis lazuli of the tabernacle. The work on the principal façade, looking toward the Tiber, was completed by the Italian Government, which declared the church a national monument. On 23 April 1891 the explosion of the gunpowder magazine at Forte Portuense destroyed the stained glass windows.
The covered portico (or narthex) that precedes the façade is a Neo-classicist addition of the 19th-century reconstruction. On the right is the Holy Door, which is opened only during the Jubilees.
The new basilica has maintained the original structure with one nave and four side aisles. It is 131.66 metres (432.0 ft) long, 65 metres (213 ft)-wide, and 29.70 metres (97.4 ft)-high, the second largest in Rome.
The nave's 80 columns and its wood and stucco-decorated ceiling are from the 19th century. All that remains of the ancient basilica are the interior portion of the apse with the triumphal arch. The mosaics of the apse were greatly damaged in the 1823 fire; only a few traces were incorporated in the restoration. The 5th-century mosaics of the triumphal arch are original (but also heavily reworked): an inscription in the lower section attest they were done at the time of Leo I, paid by Galla Placidia. The subject portrays the Apocalypse of John, with the bust of Christ in the middle flanked by the 24 Doctors of the Church, surmounted by the flying symbols of the four Evangelists. St. Peter and St. Paul are portrayed at the right and left of the arch, the latter pointing downwards (probably to his tomb).
From the inside, the windows may appear to be stained glass, but they are actually translucent alabaster.
In the old basilica each pope had his portrait in a painted frieze extending above the columns separating the aisles from the nave. A 19th-century mosaic version can be seen now. The nave's interior walls were also redecorated with painted scenes from Saint Paul's life placed between the windows of the clerestory.
South of the transept is the cloister, considered "one of the most beautiful of the Middle Ages". Built by Vassalletto in 1205-1241, it has double columns of different shapes. Some columns have inlays with golden and colored-glass mosaics; the same decoration can be seen on the architrave and the inner frame of the cloister. Also visible are fragments from the destroyed basilica and ancient sarcophagi, one with scenes of the myth of Apollo.
According to tradition, St. Paul's body was buried two miles away from the place of his martyrdom, in the sepulchral area along the Ostiense Way, which was owned by a Christian woman named Lucina. A tropaeum was erected on it and quickly became a place of veneration.[b]
Constantine I erected a basilica on the tropaeum's site, and the basilica was significantly extended by Theodosius I from 386, into what is now known as Saint Paul Outside the Walls. During the 4th century, Paul's remains, excluding the head, were moved into a sarcophagus. (According to church tradition the head rests at the Lateran.) Paul's tomb is below a marble tombstone in the basilica's crypt, at 1.37 metres (4.5 ft) below the altar. The tombstone bears the Latin inscription PAULO APOSTOLO MART ("to Paul the apostle and martyr"). The inscribed portion of the tombstone has three holes, two square and one circular. The circular hole is connected to the tomb by a pipeline, reflecting the Roman custom of pouring perfumes inside the sarcophagus, or to the practice of providing the bones of the dead with libations. The sarcophagus below the tombstone measures 2.55 metres (8.4 ft) long, 1.25 metres (4.1 ft) wide and 0.97 metres (3.2 ft) high.
The discovery of the sarcophagus is mentioned in the chronicle of the Benedictine monastery attached to the basilica, in regard to the 19th century rebuilding. Unlike other sarcophagi found at that time, this was not mentioned in the excavation papers.
On 6 December 2006, it was announced that Vatican archaeologists had confirmed the presence of a white marble sarcophagus beneath the altar, perhaps containing the remains of the Apostle. A press conference held on 11 December 2006 gave more details of the work of excavation, which lasted from 2002 to 22 September 2006, and which had been initiated after pilgrims to the basilica expressed disappointment that the Apostle's tomb could not be visited or touched during the Jubilee year of 2000. The sarcophagus was not extracted from its position, so that only one of its two longer sides is visible.
A curved line of bricks indicating the outline of the apse of the Constantinian basilica was discovered immediately to the west of the sarcophagus, showing that the original basilica had its entrance to the east, like Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The larger 386 basilica that replaced it had the Via Ostiense (the road to Ostia) to the east and so was extended westward, towards the river Tiber, changing the orientation diametrically.
The complex includes an ancient Benedictine Abbey, restored by Odo of Cluny in 936.
Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo (27 August 1925 – 19 November 2017) was an Italian prelate of the Catholic church. He worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1977 until he retired in 2001. As Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls from 2005 to 2009 he helped oversee important restoration work. He was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on 24 March 2006.Basilica San Paolo (Rome Metro)
Basilica San Paolo is a station on the Line B of the Rome Metro. It was opened in 1955 and is located at the intersection between Viale Giustiniano Imperatore and Via Gaspare Gozzi, behind the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (after which it is named) in the Ostiense quarter. It is also one of three Metro stations also served by the Rome-Lido railway line.
Before reaching the station the line, in the Porta San Paolo direction, runs through a 230m gorge excavated in the 1920s from the "Roccia di San Paolo" to avoid interfering with the landscape, rather than the original plan which ran the line around the "roccia" but ran it right alongside the basilica.Capo di Bove
Capo di Bove is an archeological site on the Appian Way on the outskirts of Rome, Italy. It contains the thermal baths of a vast property owned in the 2nd century AD by Herodes Atticus and his wife Annia Regilla.
Formerly privately owned, the property at No. 222 on the Appian Way was acquired by the Italian Government in 2002. The area of the baths was at that time being used for grape growing. The origin of the name given to the site dates back to medieval times, when the area was known as the “Casale di Capo di Bove e di Capo di Vacca” (Hamlet of the Heads of the Ox and Cow), so named after the sculptures on the nearby tomb of Caecilia Metella. The area was purchased in 1302 by Cardinal Francesco Caetani, nephew of Pope Boniface VIII. In the 17th century the area served as a hospital while in the 19th century it was under the control of the monastery at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
The excavations, which can be visited daily free of charge, revealed thermal baths dating back to the middle of the 2nd century. These baths were used until at least the 4th century and were almost certainly for private use. Greek inscriptions found there remind us of the Greek origins of Herodes Atticus. There are several well-preserved mosaics and the high quality of building materials used suggest a very elegant environment with the usual rooms found in Roman baths, i.e. a caldarium (hot bath), a tepidarium (warm bath) and frigidarium (cold bath). Water was provided by two large cisterns.The site also includes a former farmhouse converted by the previous occupant of the site into a villa. The building incorporates numerous Roman ruins into the walls, including pipes from the baths that are built into some of the windows. An internal exhibition contains photographs of the Appian Way in the first half of the 20th Century.Dedication of Saints Peter and Paul
The Dedication of the Basilicas of the Apostles Peter and Paul is a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church, which is celebrated on 18 November.
This feast combines the standard celebration of the dedication of a church for St. Peter's Basilica and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, which were both built by the Emperor Constantine the Great during the 4th century. These sites had already been visited by pilgrims for over a century when the basilicas were built to honor the apostles traditionally believed to have been buried there. The basilicas were originally joined by a colonnade, which was built despite the distance of several miles between them.Their significance in the Catholic Church is emphasized in the reference made to them in the obligation on Catholic bishops to make a Quinquennial visit ad limina in which they are required to go "to the tombs of the Apostles" in Rome every five years to report on the status of their dioceses or prelatures.
This requirement was initially set out in 1585 by Pope Sixtus V, who issued the papal bull Romanus Pontifex, which established the norms for these visits. On 31 December 1909, Pope Pius X decreed that a bishop needs to report to the pope an account of the state of his diocese once every five years, starting in 1911.Garbatella
Garbatella is an urban zone of Rome. It belongs to the Municipio VIII (ex-Municipio XI) of Rome comune, Italy, in the Ostiense quarter of Rome. Its population counts nearly 45,000.
It was founded in the late 1920s on an estate bearing the same name lying on a hill adjacent to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The older section of the area is divided into project units (Italian: lotto), each of them made of several buildings grouped together around a common yard: this design was borrowed from the English Garden city movement.
This kind of architectural agglomeration, in Rococo style, consists of a common garden area which serves as an informal meeting point for all the families that live on the estate.Giuseppe Trabacchi
Giuseppe Trabacchi (Rome, 1839 – 1909) was an Italian sculptor.
His principal works are: high relief sent in 1861 to Italian Exposition in Florence, depicting: Il primo parto; two funereal monuments for the church of Sant'Agostino, Rome, commissioned by professor Francesco Ratti; two life-size marble statues, depicting: L' Architettura e L'Arte Industriale completed for the Commune of Rome; a statuette depicting: L' Ascolta, in bronze, acquired in 1881 by the Ministry of Public Education; San Matteo, one of twelve statues that decorated the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome; the statue of San Luigi Gonzaga for the church of Santa Teresa, Rome; a life-size marble statue of Bathsheba, exhibited in 1888 at London; two funereal monuments commissioned by signori Rosi and De-Zeo of Bracciano, and a design of a monument to Benito Juarez, completed along with his long-term collaborator and sculptor Adalberto Cencetti.Herculanus
Herculanus can refer to:
St. Herculanus of Brescia
St. Herculanus of Perugia (Sant' Ercolano)
St. Herculanus of Piegaro
Sts. Taurinus and Herculanus, martyrs of Ostia in the 5th century, see Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
Flavius Bassus Herculanus, a senator betrothed to Justa Grata HonoriaHimerius of Bosto
Saint Himerius (Imerio, Imier) of Bosto is venerated as a pilgrim and martyr. He is venerated in the province of Varese jointly with Gemolus (Gemolo), who was martyred with him. (Some scholars believe that the two figures are the same man.)A tradition from the eleventh century holds that Himerius and Gemolus were Nordic companions of a bishop who was traveling Ad Limina Apostolorum–that is, on a pilgrimage to the sepulchers of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome, i.e., to the Basilica of St. Peter and to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
Himerius and Gemolus were killed during an assault on the bishop's entourage at Valganna by a band of men from Uboldo or Seprio. Gemolus was buried at Ganna–where an abbey dedicated to him arose in 1095, built by Atto (Attone), Ardericus (Arderico), Inghizo (Inghizone) with the permission of Arnulf III, Archbishop of Milan.Himerius, who escaped, eventually succumbed to his wounds at Varese, where he was buried in the church of San Michele at Bosto. The church was later named after him.History of the Christian Altar
In contrast to the Jewish practice of building altars of several stones, the earliest Christian altars were of wood and shaped like ordinary house tables, a practice that continued until the Middle Ages. However, a preference for more durable materials led to church enactments in the West against wooden altars, but not in the East. The earliest stone altars were the tombs of martyrs, over which Mass was sometimes offered, either on a stone slab enclosing the tomb or on a structure placed above it. When the first custom-built Christian basilicas were built, the altar of the church was placed directly above the tomb of a martyr, as in the case of St. Peter's Basilica and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.Nicola Consoni
Nicola Consoni (Ceprano in the Province of Frosinone, in the region of Lazio, 1814 - Rome, 1884) was an Italian painter, mainly of sacred and historic subjects.
In Perugia, he was a pupil of Giovanni Sanguinetti at the Academy, but then moved to Rome, and joined the studio of Tommaso Minardi, and later Pio Joris. In Rome, he was commissioned by Pope Pius IX to fresco some of the second story loggias of the Vatican Palace and the Vatican library. The frescoes depict scenes from the New Testament. He also designed the mosaics, made in deliberately primitive early Christian style for the facade of the rebuilt Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. He painted some of the frescoes in the central nave. He completed some restorations including frescoes by Raphael in the church of San Severo of Perugia. He also helped restore mosaics in the apse of Basilica of San Giovanni Laterano.He also received commissions from Queen Victoria to paint the altarpiece, depicting The Resurrection, and pendentives with the Evangelists in her Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore at the Home Park, Windsor. It was all completed in a Neoclassical style recalling Raphael.
He had a commission from Monsignor Josip Juraj Strossmayer, bishop of Diakovar (1849-1905), to paint a Christ and an Immaculate Conception for his Cathedral, now in Croatia. For many years, he lived in the Palazzo Campanari in the Rione of Ripetta, Rome.
Consoni was awarded the Order of the Crown of Italy and the Order of Saint Stephen. He became honorary member of many artistic societies and was once president of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome.Ostiense
Ostiense or Q. X Ostiense is a quarter of Rome in the south metropolitan area of Rome, Italy. it is part of Municipio VIII of Rome. Ostiense is also a namesake of an urban zone of Rome, a kind of smaller statistical and planning area, but with the serial 11A.
It comprises the area near the Via Ostiense from the Porta San Paolo to the Magliana Viaduct. Its official boundaries include the neighborhood of Garbatella.The original name of the Porta San Paolo, a gate in the city walls of Rome, was Porta Ostiensis, because it was located at the beginning of Via Ostiensis. It now houses the Via Ostiense Museum.
Ostiense was an industrial area in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Remnants of that era include a prominent gasometer and the Centrale Montemartini (a former power station now housing part of the Capitoline Museum's collection of classical sculpture).
The landmarks in the quarter include the Centrale Montemartini and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
Other landmarks include the Roma Ostiense railway station and most of the University of Rome III campus.
The railway station is home to the Italian railway company Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori. It is the city's main hub and home to Italian food market chain Eataly, world's biggest store.Pier Leoni
Pier Leoni (or Pierleone) (Latin: Petrus Leo or Petrus filius Leonis) (died 2 June 1128) was the son of the Jewish convert Leo de Benedicto and founder of the great and important medieval Roman family of the Pierleoni. He was called the Jewish Crassus by Gregorovius.
Pierleone himself was a consul of the eternal city in the early twelfth century. He was one of the regents of the city itself when Pope Paschal II left in 1108 to deal with raising troops. "Rome remained the pit of daily rebellion," as Gregorovius says.
In 1111, Pierleone negotiated the imperial coronation of the Emperor Henry V.
Ever a faithful ally of the pope, in 1117, he retook Rome for him, but was subsequently holed up in his tower by Ptolemy I of Tusculum.
After the election of Bishop John of Gaeta as Gelasius II on 24 January 1118, the new pope was thrown into prison by Cencio II Frangipane. It was Pierleone, with his son Peter, Peter the prefect of the city, and the papal gonfalonier Stephen the Norman, who restored the pope's freedom.
Pierleone held the Theatre of Marcellus, Tiber Island, and the Castel Sant'Angelo, fortress of the popes. He was the greatest man in Rome in his time, the grandson of a Jew of Trastevere. His large marble sarcophagus is preserved in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Its inscription reads, "a man without an equal, immeasurably rich in money and children." Of these children, he left several sons: Leo, Peter (later Antipope Anacletus II), Jordan (later Patrician of the Commune of Rome), Roger, and Huguizon. It is said that his daughter married Roger I of Sicily.Pietro Vassalletto
Pietro Vassalletto (fl. 1154 – 1186) was an Italian sculptor from a family of artists active in Rome during the 12th-14th centuries.
Among his work is the sculpture of the Easter Candlestick at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.Richard Fitzgeorge de Stacpoole, 1st Duke de Stacpoole
Richard Fitzgeorge de Stacpoole, 1st Duc de Stacpoole (16 August 1787 – 7 July 1848) was an Anglo-French Catholic aristocrat and member of the French peerage.The son of George Stacpoole, 1st Comte Stacpoole, and Catherine Gingell, he did his catechism at St Patrick's Church, Soho Square, attended Rugby School, and studied at Christ Church, Oxford (though left without a degree). On his father's death he inherited half of his estate (per the practice of the French courts), taking the French peerage title of the 2nd Comte Stacpoole on 25 March 1824. He had married Elizabeth Tulloch, daughter of Major Francis Tulloch and Margaret Simpson, at St Marylebone Parish Church in 1822, and the couple moved to Rome where they lived extravagantly, reportedly spending £40,000. They financed repairs to the main bridge over the Tiber, helped to rebuild the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, and restored numerous ornamental fountains which had been derelict since the time of Napoleon.Richard was created the Viscount de Stacpoole by Louis XVIII of France in 1828, a Marquis by Pope Leo XII and the 1st Duke of Stacpoole by Pope Gregory XVI in 1830. Though the family was Anglo-Irish, Richard never lived in Ireland, dividing his life between England, France and Italy. In 1846, estranged from his wife and children, he purchased and greatly enlarged Glasshayes (which still stands), in Lyndhurst, New Forest. He lived there happily with close friends Captain and Mrs Graves, leaving the house (alongside the bulk of his £68,833 estate) to them when he died at Glasshayes in 1848. His wife contested the will, but later settled out of court. Much of the Duc's furniture and some of his paintings are held today in the Wallace Collection, London.San Paolo alla Regola
San Paolo alla Regola, a church in the diocese of Rome, was made a cardinalate deaconry by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Its present Cardinal-Deacon, since 21 November 2010, is Francesco Monterisi, archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.Santa Passera
Santa Passera is a church in the south of Rome on the other bank of the curve in the river Tiber from the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The current church, erected in the ninth century, incorporated a Roman tomb. The church served a small community of miners who worked in the tuff quarries of the nearby hills.
The interior retains some remnants of medieval frescoes.Theobald of Ostia
Theobald of Ostia (French: Thibaut de Vermandois or Thibaut de Nanteuil, Italian: Teodobaldo di Vermandois; died 4 November 1188) was a French cardinal.
He entered the Order of Benedictines of the Congregation of Cluny in his youth. He was prior of the monastery of Saint-Arnoult-de-Crepy by 1169 and then abbot of Cluny from 1180 until 1183. In 1184 pope Lucius III named him Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia e Velletri; as such, he signed the papal bulls between 21 May 1184 and 29 October 1188. He served as papal legate in southern Germany in 1187. He participated in the papal election of 1185, of October 1187 and of December 1187; in the last one, he was elected to the papacy but declined in favour of Paolo Scolari, who was elected Pope Clement III. Shortly before his death pope appointed him legate in England but he was unable to fulfill this mission. He was buried in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Rome.Via Ostiensis
The Via Ostiensis (Italian: via Ostiense) was an important road in ancient Rome. It ran west 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the city of Rome to its important sea port of Ostia Antica, from which it took its name. The road began near the Forum Boarium, ran between the Aventine Hill and the Tiber River along its left (eastern) bank, and left the city's Servian Walls through the Porta Trigemina. When the later Aurelian Walls were built, the road left the city through the Porta Ostiensis (Porta San Paolo). In the late Roman Empire, trade suffered under an economic crisis, and Ostia declined as an important port. With the accompanying growth of importance of the Via Portuensis from the time of Constantine onwards, that of the Via Ostiensis correspondingly decreased. Modern Via Ostiense, following a similar path, is the main connection of Rome to Ostia (one of the quarters of Rome at present) together with the Via del Mare. On its way to Ostia, the road passes by the important basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.Virginio Vespignani
Virginio Vespignani (12 February 1808 – 4 December 1882) was an Italian architect.
Vespignani was born in Rome. A student of Luigi Poletti, he was highly interested in classical architecture, becoming one of Roman neoclassical's main figures. To graduate, he helped illustrate in collaboration with the engraver and architect Rossini a work on the Antiquities of Pompei and on The Seven Hills of Rome. He later would collaborate with a book by the archeologist Edward Dodwell, published in London.
In 1850 he built the neoclassical domed Church of the Madonna dell’Archetto around the shrine of the Madonna in Palazzo Muti. He worked for a time as papal architect, and his works in Rome include the completion, restoration and rebuilding of the external facade of Porta Pia (1868) and the restoration of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Lorenzo fuori le mura. He was also one of many participants in the reconstruction of the Basilica of San Paolo, and rebuilt and decorated Porta San Pancrazio (1857) and (1873).
In 1869, he became the main architect of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. He was professor of architecture at the Academy of Saint Luke, and became president of the institution. He served on many boards and honorary memberships. He helped restore the Papal palace in Anzio. He helped design the layout of the Cemetery of Rome (Campo Verano). He helped design the Palazzo of monsignor Ferrari in Ceprano, the church of Santa Maria in Capranica, and the Palace of Marchese Chino Ferrari in Ceprano. He helped design the New Theaters of Orvieto and of Viterbo. He was responsible for organizing pyrotechnic spectacles and stagepieces for festivals in Castel Sant' Angelo He worked on the restoration of San Lorenzo in Damaso. He has been awarded as knight of the Order of San Silvestro, and that of the Order of Christ of Portugal, or the order of San Gregorio. He receive the Order of the Guadalupe of Mexico, a medal from Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, Charles the third of Spain. In 1855 the municipality of Rome conferred him a gold medal, for his work during a cholera epidemic.
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