Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina

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Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina

Piazza San Lorenzo in LucinaThis triangular piazza is one of Rome's elegant meeting places. The name comes from the 4th century chapel constructed here on the residence of a Christian matron named Lucina. Her private chapel became a church in the 5th century when Sixtus III was Pope but it was completely reconstructed in the 12th century by Pope Pascal II.

The portico and the double-storey bell tower belong to this period. The cardinal's residence to the left of the church, which became the property of the Almagia' family in 1898, was built at the end of the 13th century. It was here, under the garden of the present building, that the Emperor Augustus' Ara Pacis, the Altar of Peace, was located; today it has been reassembled and is on display elsewhere.
Archeological excavations underneath the church brought to light the remains of a Roman house, and also a chamber which appears to be a primitive place of worship. In one of the rooms there is a fragment of the Horologium Augusti. This sundial, dating from 10 BC, consisted of a large piazza paved in travertine on which the lines and writing on the dial were marked out in bronze.
In the center of this piazza, there was an obelisk whose shadow signaled the time. Today the obelisk is in Piazza Monte Citorio.
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