Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius

The Saint Louis Art Museum’s Sculpture Hall is influenced by the Baths of Caracalla, but it’s also inspired by the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius, which is one of my favorite buildings in the Roman Forum. It is mostly collapsed from earthquakes, but still never fails to impress me when I see it.

Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore

The Basilica of Great Saint Lawrence is one of the most important churches in the world you’ve never heard of. It sits across what is now a plaza, but was once crowded with houses, from the Colonnade of St. Lawrence. It was once surrounded by houses and even a river and port on the other…

Colonnade of San Lorenzo, Milan

Urban renewal happens in Europe, as well, and the Colonnade of St. Lawrence is a perfect example of that. As the ancient world transitioned into the Early Christian, an old temple or bath house was torn down, and this colonnade was constructed with its Corinthian columns along the main street leading to the Ticino Gate….

Santa Maria presso San Satiro, Milan

Milan is a very crowded city, with very little space. So when it came time to build a new church, St. Mary Near (or as I translate presso, up against) St. Satirus, the architects needed to be creative. St. Satirus was the brother of St. Ambrose, the archbishop of Milan. In this photo by photographer…

The Basilica and Postern Gate of Saint Ambrose, Milan

Update: See a church in St. Louis based off architecture such as St. Ambrose’s. Here is the church of St. Ambrose in St. Louis. Located on the southwestern edge of the historic core of Milan, the Basilica of Saint Ambrose has foundations that go back to one of the Four Doctors of the Roman Catholic…

Old Fortifications Tower, Milan

The old walls of Roman Milan came by here, and due to most likely being incorporated into San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, this tower and another square one have survived barbarian invasions and the destruction of the original church. They sit now in limbo, still searching for a purpose in the 21st Century.

Palace of Maximianus, Milan

For the next week, I will be showing sites around the northern Italian city of Milan, which is famous for many things, but not so much for its ancient Roman and Paleo-Christian past. I often feel that cities, such as St. Louis, are known for the “same old thing” oftentimes, just like Milan, and by…

Tree Lined Roads, Palestrina, Italy

Sorry about the bad picture, but I was just thinking about this: in America, these trees would be toast, cut down and burned or thrown into a shredder so the road could be widened and people could speed recklessly. But in Italy, on this busy road leading up to the beautiful suburb of Palestrina in…

Sant’Andrea Delle Fratte, Rome

One of my favorite architects is Francesco Borromini, and when I was in Rome, I sought out the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, famous for the architect’s designs for the campanile and tambour over the crossing. Try as I might, I realized that the urban fabric of the city around the church was far too…