Route: COURAGE FROM FAITH. THE SITES OF MARTYRDOM
Piazza di S. Bartolomeo all’Isola, 22 www.sanbartolomeo.org…
You are along the route: CHURCHES IN TEMPLES. THE NEW FACE OF THE SACRED
In 293 BC, Rome was hit by a severe plague so a delegation was sent to Epidaurus in Greece, home of the worship of Asclepius, the god of medicine. The ship returned with a sacred serpent, the symbol of the god, which swam to the island in the Tiber thus signalling the place where the God wanted his temple. The basilica of St. Bartholomew, the apostle who was flayed alive and crucified upside down, is right here. Built by the German Emperor Otto III in 998 to house his remains and those of St. Adalbert of Prague, the church was renovated in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. On the left of the Baroque façade stands the twelfth century bell tower. The fourteen columns of the interior come possibly from the Temple of Aesculapius. On the steps that climb the transept, there is a marble wellhead from the eleventh century on the site of a spring of fresh water to which curative and miraculous properties had had been attributed since ancient times. Since 2002, on the main altar stands a large icon dedicated to the martyrs of the twentieth century, willed by Pope John Paul II.
Foto Archivio Fotografico F.E.C.