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Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano, Rome

4.6
#89 of 522 in Historic Sites in Rome
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Church
The basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano is a church in the Roman Forum, parts of which incorporate original Roman buildings. The circular building at the entrance onto the Forum (not used today) was built in the early 4th century as a Roman temple, thought to have been dedicated to Valerius Romulus, deified son of the emperor Maxentius. The main building was perhaps the library of an imperial forum.It became a church in 527 and contains important but much restored early Christian art, especially in its mosaics.Today it is one of the ancient churches called tituli, of which cardinals are patrons as cardinal-deacons: the current Cardinal Deacon of the Titulus Ss. Cosmae et Damiani is Beniamino Stella, created Cardinal on 22 February 2014. The basilica, devoted to the two Greek brothers, doctors, martyrs and saints Cosmas and Damian, is located in the Forum of Vespasian, also known as the Forum of Peace.HistoryThe Temple is traditionally held to have been dedicated by Emperor Maxentius to his son and co-consul Valerius Romulus, who died in 309 and was given divine honours. The temple building was probably part of a rebuilding program of "incredible intensity" undertaken by Maxentius in the area, following a disastrous fire in 306; the project was only part-complete at his death. The temple's identification with Valerius Romulus is tentative, based on the spot-find of a coin dated to 307 AD showing the distinctive shape of the building, and a nearby dedication to Valerius Romulus as a a divinised mortal. The temple has also been speculated as a rebuilding of the original temple of "Jupiter Stator", or one dedicated to Penates, restored by Maxentius.
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Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano reviews

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  • Th Basilica is dedicated to SS. Cosmas and Damian, martyrs and doctors who worked without compensation. It is place to visit for anyone passing by the capital and on Via dei Fori Imperiali. Past the....  more »
  • We literally stumbled across this incredible church on our walk from our hotel to the Colosseum and I'm so grateful that we did as it is absolutely stunning. Dating back to the 4th century and...  more »
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  • One of the oldest basilicas in Rome, built on top of a temple on the forum (which can be seen via a glasses in opening. Wonderful mosaic on altar, portraying brothers Cosma and Damiano, Syrian doctors, and patron saints of many towns and villages in Italy. Free admission
  • Beautiful mosaic you can light up, spoke with friendly monk and enjoyed the garden inside.
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