Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere

Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere, Rome

Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere

Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere
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4.0
125 reviews
Excellent
43
Very good
55
Average
22
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5
Terrible
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dapper777
Monaco31,091 contributions
Interesting and beautiful
Jul 2020 • Friends
The church of S.Nicola in Carcere stands on the place where, in the Republican era, there were three temples that were transformed into a prison during the Middle Ages.
The small square, with the three temples in the center (Janus, Juno Sospita and Spes), had in ancient times the name of "Forum Holitorium" and served as a commercial marketplace for vegetables, herbs and oil market in ancient Rome.
At this church there are evident remains of these temples, whose columns are incrusted in the lateral walls on each side.
The original church is thought to have been built in the VIIth century when Rome was part of the Byzantine Empire, in an area where most of the population was of Greek origin. This would explain its dedication to St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, one of the most important Greek saints, very popular in the Byzantine Rite.
The church was restored the first time in the early XIIth century.
In 1599 the church was almost completely rebuilt at the behest of Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini by Giacomo Della Porta.
It was restored again in 1865 on the orders of Pope Pius IX.
In 1932 they removed the old buildings and the many later additions that were leaning against it, so as to highlight the remains of the surrounding ancient temples.
The façade, with a single order, has an attic, a tympanum and a rose window (the latter surmounted by the inscription commemorating Cardinal Aldobrandini) and flanked by two bas-reliefs depicting 'St Nicholas' and 'SS Marcus and Marcellinus'.
The massive bell tower that flanks the church was obtained from a pre-existing tower belonging to the fortifications of the Pierleoni family: inside there are still and ring the old bells from 1286.
The church is interesting for its history, its crypt but also very beautiful for its ceiling, the altar and some paintings such as 'The Ascension of Jesus' by Lorenzo Costa and some minor works attributed to Antoniazzo Romano (a fragment of fresco 'Madonna and Child') and 'The Trinity with Angels' by Guercino.
Written 25 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peter H
Fredericksburg, VA432 contributions
Unusual looking church
May 2019 • Solo
I think this church is unusual because , every time more construction was done, the previous structure was not demolished. The structure is made of buildings from different time periods. Interesting to me, this church celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe. I personally have trouble with belief of not only this story from the 1500’s, but also many things from The Old Testament. For example, the question is often asked: Why does God let bad things happen? Or. “Eye for an Eye. “. I have a lot of trouble with this.
Written 12 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

David B
El Barco de Avila, Spain459 contributions
Church under major renovation
Apr 2019 • Couples
We visited this church on the basis of the reviews of the excavations. At the time of our visit (April 2019) the church was undergoing major conservation. It was totally hidden by scaffolding and inside was clearly undergoing major work. This impaired the quality of the visit. The church is built on the site of three temples which are incorporated into the fabric of the church - the renovation works almost totally obscured this outside and in. The excavations are reached by descending a staircase under the altar and you visit the foundations of the ancient temples. There are information panels which point out the ancient features and to an extent you have to take on faith that this is the case - although some features are evident. It is quite dark and atmospheric and floors are uneven and ceilings sometimes low. It was quite interesting.
Written 1 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kyle S
968 contributions
Medieval church
Nov 2018 • Couples
his church stands no the site off three Roman templesJuno, Spew and Janus.There are columns from temples embedded in the church walls. These temples faced a city gate in the Romain republic In the Middle Ages the temples were The church was restored in the 1800se converted into a prison.
Written 8 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

234worldtraveler567
Boston, MA153 contributions
Go When the Excavations are Open
Aug 2018 • Solo
The first time I went to this church, the excavations weren't open (the excavations have more limited hours than the church itself). The second time, I made a point of getting there when the excavations were open, and I am glad I did. The remains of the 3 Republican era temples under the church are fairly extensive and well worth visiting. There is some signage in English but you'll get more out of it if you've done some research beforehand to understand what you're seeing.
Written 17 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

srimanone
El Pescadero, Mexico867 contributions
NOT ON THE TOURIST PATH BUT WORTH THE VISIT
Nov 2017 • Couples
Some construction going on, by pass this and spend some time visiting here. if you happen to catch a concert at night even better. they have some very interesting catacombs below and this is an example of a pre roman temple still standing. very worthwhile and should not be missed
Written 3 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chinapjs
Washington DC, DC3,705 contributions
Under renonovation but still well worth a visit
Oct 2017 • Couples
Even though whole front of building is covered and appears closed, it is easy to enter on left front. Inside it is quiet and somewhat ignored but still quite beautiful and functioning. Attended Sunday mass at noon. Beautiful. Take time to study the paintings and decoration. No admission charge.
Written 28 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LordCadwell
Maidenhead, UK581 contributions
Don't walk on by
Apr 2017
For €3 a mooch round the underground chambers can be had in this unpreposessing scaffolded basilica which most walk by to get to the Bocca della Verita. They only let one party down at a time which adds ro the atmosphere.
Written 9 April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Archaeobuff
Sydney, Australia1,730 contributions
A great site for archaeological buffs and those who love underground sites
Aug 2016 • Solo
I came upon the little old church of San Nicola in Carcere by accident. Its point of interest was its underground excavations. I was the only visitor and had to search out and importune (with a few euro) an attendant to let me into the underground area which had red danger signs on the gate. Below were the remains of three temples upon which the church is built. It was dark and dank, smelt musty, had long passages with minimum lighting (iPhone light came in handy), I was alone and it was just wonderful. They had done a great and difficult job with the excavation. I could not make sense of it but the experience was unique.
Written 5 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FTLCruisers
Weston, FL307 contributions
Small but very interesting
Oct 2016 • Couples
On our way to the Trastevere area of Rome, we decided to stop in this basilica. Its very small and dark. Luckily there was someone there who asked if we wanted to go down under the basilica and we were glad we did. The basilica was built over 3 Roman pagan temples and you can walk through each one - signs help you to understand what you're looking at. It wasn't a long visit but definitely was a unique one considering we saw some bones! If you're in the area, its worth stopping in. There is a charge to visit the underground.
Written 27 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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