Chiesa di San Giovanni in Oleo, Rome

4.7
#341 of 523 in Historic Sites in Rome
San Giovanni in Oleo is a small church in Rome, Italy, devoted to Saint John the Evangelist, on the place where, according to tradition, his martyrdom was attempted.


According to an ancient tradition, in 92, St. John survived martyrdom through immersion in a vat of boiling oil, attempted by Domitian himself. The old apostle survived a long while without even being burnt and the crowd demanded that he be spared; Domitian condemned him to exile on the little island of Patmos, where John wrote Revelation. After his exile, he died in Ephesus. This ancient tradition, and the centralized plan of the church, customary for votive oratories on the sites of martyrdoms, support the 5th-century origin of this foundation.


The current church is an octagonal 16th century Renaissance chapel, by the Porta Latina. San Giovanni in Oleo is attributed to Bramante and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, and was later restored by Borromini, who modified the roof, installing a cross on an orb, decorated with roses and adding a frieze in terracotta with roses and palms. On the door is the coat of arms of the French prelate Benoît Adam, with the motto "Au plaisir de Dieu". The frescos (1716) showing Saint John's attempted martyrdom were painted by Lazzaro Baldi.
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Chiesa di San Giovanni in Oleo Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • Parking in front of Porta Latina and walking through it to stop in front of the little church of St. John in Oleo. The tiny oratory is one of the many mysterious and romantic monuments of Rome...
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  • Few people know him, perhaps even because of his trimming location, but the temple of St. John in Oleo is a small masterpiece of architecture. Having found it closed, we succumbed to temptation...
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Google
  • Pretty church
  • The small church of St. John in Oleo, is located in the 19th ward (Celio), in Via Latina, near the evocative Travertine Gate of the Aurelian walls, with the two circular brick towers on the sides. The church is octagonal in shape and is from the sixteenth century and is present in Renaissance style, at the eight corners has simple lesene with capitals, which support a particular dome with a cylindrical drum with floral ornaments and then a conical dome with at the apex a composition with pot-like palm leaves that contain large lilies topped with an iron cross. On the framed portal, present on the side of Porta Latina, there is both a plaque and a large papal coat of arms in honor of Pope Alexander VII Chigi (in whose pontificate a restoration was carried out). Unfortunately being closed I was not able to visit the interior. Note: Tradition indicates that this was the place, where it was tried to martyr St. John, immersing him in boiling oil, from which he miraculously saved himself and was then sent into exile (dying there at almost 100 years old). In fact, for this event there is the dedication of the church "St. John in Oleo" which means St. John in oil. NOTE STEMMA OF CHIGI: A mountain of 6 golden peaks, accompanied by an eight-ray star.
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