The great bronze doors of St John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano), the cathedral of Rome, once belonged to the ancient Curia Julia (Senate House), which still stands in the Forum.
The doors, which date back to the reign of the emperor Domitian (r. 81-96), were moved to the cathedral in 1660, at the bequest of Pope Alexander VII (r. 1655-67), who had them adorned with the heraldic eight-pointed stars of his own coat of arms.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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