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San Giacomo del Colosseo

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San Giacomo del Colosseo was a 14th century (?) mediaeval hospital church that used to stand right by the Colosseum at its east end. This is now the Piazza del Colosseo, in the rione Campitelli.

The dedication was to St James the Great.

HistoryEdit

The small hospital of San Giacomo was first recorded in 1383, and became a dependency of the Lateran hospital in the following century. It was closed, and the church deconsecrated, at the end of the 16th century.

However the edifice survived, and is shown on the Nolli map of 1748 as a hay barn belonging to the larger hospital.

The complex was finally demolished in 1815, because its proximity to the Colosseum was deemed to be aesthetically unpleasing. 14th century wall paintings were recorded as uncovered during the demolition.

Location and AppearanceEdit

The hospital formed a single building on the plan of an irregular pentagon, and stood in isolation. It was located next to the Colosseum, where the ruined outer wall of the amphitheatre terminates on the east. It was not attached to the monument, although there was only a narrow gap between them. 

To locate the footprint, take the line of the southern frontage of the Via di San Giovanni in Laterano and extend it north-westwards. This marks the hospital's north-east frontage, where there was a tiny triangular courtyard enclosed by a screen wall. The north-west corner of the edifice was very close to the fifth pilaster in the wall of the Colosseum, counting to the right from where that wall stops. The south wall faced the entrance of the Via dei Santi Quattro Coronati across a small piazza (the location of the latter street at this point was moved slightly to the south when the location was redeveloped in the late 19th century).

The site of the hospital is now under the main road, with part under the small trees next to the Colosseum at the location described.

The church had no architectural identity separate from the hospital.

External linksEdit

"Romeartlover" web-page

Nolli map (look for 937)

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