Chiesa di San Nicola dei Lorenesi
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Nave and Apse:
St. Nicholas Lorenesi is a 17th century church located in Rome near Piazza Navona in the rione Parione. After the annexation of the Duchy of Lorraine to France in 1766, the building was integrated into Pieux Etablissements de la France et à Rome Lorette.
During the Renaissance, the French and Lorenesi formed the Congrégration de Saint-Louis who gave hand in building the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in 1588. Part of this church was paid by Duke Charles III of Lorraine to represent the state of Lorraine at the Vatican.
In 1587, the Lorenesi created a new confraternity independent from France under the name Confraternité de Saint-Nicolas et de Sainte-Catherine de la Nation de Lorraine et de Barrois, who was authorized to possess a chapel inside the San Luigi dei Francesi and with the goal of building a church in Rome own.
In 1622, Pope Gregory XV granted the Brotherhood an old church dedicated to St. Nicholas in Agone, near Piazza Navona, which was first mentions in 1186 as a subsidiary ot S. Lorenzo in Damaso.
The rebuilt church was consecrated in 1632 under the name of St. Nicholas Lorenesi enabling the Duchy of Lorraine to be represented in Rome by a proper church. The architect was François Desjardins.
It fell into disrepair in the late 20th century, but was restored at the expense of France and the Lorraine Region in 2006. The interior is now visible to visitors at the usual hours through a metal grille behind the front door. Actual access seems only to be for liturgical events. It is now counted as a national church of France, together with San Luigi and Sant'Ivo dei Bretoni.
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