d. Santa Pudenziana. ROME. I. N. and E. Hills. 171
d. From the Via Nazionale to Santa Maria Maggiore and
San Lorenzo fuori le Mura or the Porta Maggiore.
From the intersection (p.( 165) of the Via Nazionale and the
Via Quattro Fontane, the S.E. continuation of the latter, the Via
Agostino Depeetis (PL I, II, 24), leads directly to the choir of
Santa Maria Maggiore. We turn to the right before reaching the
sloping piazza in front of the latter, enter the Via Urbana, and after
a few paces reach —
Santa Pudenziana (PI. II, 27; open till 9, Sun. till 10 a.m.;
custodian, Via Urbana 161, to be found from 1 to 4), traditionally
the oldest church in Rome, erected on the spot where St. Pudens
(2nd Timothy, IV, 21) and his daughters Praxedis and Pudentiana,
who entertained St. Peter, are said to have lived. The church,
restored as early as the reign of Pope Siricius (384-398), has been
frequently altered, especially in 1588, and has recently been mod¬
ernised in very bad taste. In the facade, adorned with modern
mosaics (St. Peter with SS. Pudens and Pudentiana; on the left
Pius I., on the right Gregory VII.), is an ancient portal borne by
columns, which also has been restored. Pleasing campanile of the
Interior. The nave and aisles are of unequal length. In the pillars
are still to be seen the ancient marble columns which originally supported
the clerestory. The "Mosaics in the Tribune (4th cent.), Christ with the
Apostles, and St. Praxedis and St. Pudentiana, with a rich architectural
background, and above, the emblems of the Evangelists on each side of the
cross, are among the finest in Rome (p. lx; several of those on the right are
modern). The Dome above the high-altar was painted by Pomarancio. The
Aisles contain remains of an ancient mosaic pavement. At the extremity
of the left aisle is an altar with relics of the table at which St. Peter is
said first to have read mass. Above it Christ and Peter, a group in marble
by Giov. Batt. della Porta.
Below the church are ancient vaults in a good style of architecture,
with some mosaic-pavement and a small fresco, which the custodian
shows if desired.
On the summit of the Viminal, not far off, stands the church of
San Lorenzo in Panisperna (PI. II, 24), on the spot where St. Lawrence is
said to have suffered martyrdom, an old edifice, but frequently restored.
The convent formerly connected with this church is now occupied by the
Reale Istituto Chimico. — Hence to the Via Nazionale, see p. 168.
In the Piazza dbll' Esquilino (PL II, 27), the square in front
of the choir of Santa Maria Maggiore, stands one of the two Obelisks,
48 ft. in height, which formerly rose in front of the mausoleum of
Augustus (the other is on the Quirinal, p. 168). It was erected
here by Sixtus V. in 1587. — The piazza is intersected by the
broad Via Cavour (p. 178), which is carried down between the Es¬
quiline and Viminal to the Forum Romanum.
The facade of the church overlooks the Piazza Santa Maria
Maggiore, embellished with a handsome Column from the basilica
of Constantine, 16 ft. in circumference, and 46 ft. in height, placed
here and crowned with a bronze figure of the Virgin by Paul V.