|Santi Luca e Martina|
|English name:||Saints Luke and Martina|
|Dedication:||Luke the Evangelist St Martina|
|Built:||7th century, rebuilt 17th century|
|Artists:||Alessandro Algardi Niccolò Menghini|
|Address:|| Via della Curia 2 |
Santi Luca e Martina is a church dedicated to St Luke the Evangelist and St Martina, 3rd century martyr. It is located at the Forum Romanum. (near the Via dei Fori Imperiali entrance, outside the archaeological area)
Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons. 
The first church here was built in the 6th or 7th century, and was dedicated to the 3rd century martyr St Martina. It was known as "the church in three forums", as it stands where the Forum Romanum meets the fori of Augustus and Caesar.In 1588, Pope Sixtus V gave it to the "Accademia di San Luca", the (Drawing) Academy of St Luke. It was rebuilt 1635-1664 by Pietro da Cortona, the head of the Academy, as a domed cruciform church, close to the Baroque style. They rededicated the church to St Luke, patron of artists and of the Academy, while preserving the old dedication to St Martina as well. The intention of the Academy was originally to restore the old church. But when the relics of St Martina and other martyrs were found (incidentally while da Cortona was constructing his own tomb in the crypt), Pope Urban VIII and his nephew Cardinal Francesco Barberini financed the construction of the new church.
Over the altar, there is a painting of St Luke at his easel. To the right is an altar dedicated to St Lazarus, an 8th Eastern monk and artist whose right hand was burned by the Iconoclasts.
The crypt is interesting, and may be visited of you ask the sacristan. In the corridor you enter is a bas-relief of the Entombment of Christ by Alessandro Algardi, and a monument to the architect, da Cortona.
The main chapel in the crypt has a magnificent gilt bronze altar by da Cortona above the relics of St Martina, who served as deaconess of a church at the site in the 3rd century. There is also a statue by Niccolò Menghini of St Martina praying before the Madonna sculptured in alabaster and lapis lazuli. The crypt also has a throne in which the early popes sat to distribute candles at the beginning of the Purification procession.
The tomb da Cortona, which was constructed for himself when St Martina's relics were found, stands here, and next to it is a monument to the architect Giovanni Battista Soria and a Pietá in terracotta by Allessandro Algardi.
Note on accessEdit
This church is only open from 9:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays (to 20:00, March to September).
"Laboratorioromana" article with photos (recommended)