San Lorenzo in Fonte

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(To see photos of the left side click here)
(To see photos of the right side click here)

San Lorenzo in Fonte is a relatively unknown little 17th century conventual church, located in rione Monti (I). The dedication is to St Lawrence, a deacon who was martyred in 258. This small church is also known as Santi Lorenzo e Ippolito, or San Lorenzo in Carcere; the names and the appellations refer to the imprisonment of St Lawrence.

For reference, a plan of the church is available here.


The origins of the church are entirely unknown, although an oratory may have existed here since the 4th century. The first documented reference is very late at 1348.

The church was rebuilt in 1628 in the reign of Pope Urban VIII, by the architect Domenico Castelli. The 17th century interior decoration of the church is attributed to Andrea Camassei, Giovanni Battista Speranza and Marco Caprinozzi. The fa├žade was remodeled in a late neo-Classical style in 1800, and has been altered since in the 1930's.

Since 1918, the church has been administered by the Oblates of Saint Joseph.

According to he legend St. Lawrence was imprisoned in the dungeon of the house of Hyppolitus, a Roman centurion. In the dungeon there was a small spring (fonte) of water, which was used by St. Lawrence to baptize another prisoner, a blind man who subsequently recovered his sight. The miracle convinced Hyppolitus to embrace the Christian faith and for this he was put to death. A church was built above the dungeon.

The best photos of the prison can be found here

Related Links: Roman Churches Wiki
Corvinus blog

Location: 41° 53' 44"N 12° 29' 37"E

Detailed information and description

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