San Giovanni in Laterano, central nave & apse.
Saint John Lateran
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dedication: The Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist
built: c.320ad Related articles:
the Illuminated Baptistry
Gateway to the Apocalypse
The basilica was built as the centrepiece of the newly official Christian religion in around 320ad. It's original dedication (as declared on the present facade) was to Christ the Saviour, though it was also known as the Constantinian basilica. The basilica Cristo Salvatori was, until the 13th century, the residence of the Popes and the centre of Catholic authority. The word Lateran in it's modern title comes from the name of the family which owned the land before it was appropriated by the Emperor Nero. An important part of the complex is the Baptistry, behind the church, whose present structure dates to the 4th century and was in it's early years the only place in Rome to obtain an official baptism.