The medieval church of San Nicola in Carcere (St Nicholas in Prison) is built into the remains of three ancient temples, which stood in what was once the Forum Holitorium (Vegetable Market).
The church covers the middle temple completely and incorporates the lateral colonnade of the temple on each side. The temples, which date back to the first century BCE and the first century CE, were dedicated to Janus, Spes (Hope) and Juno Sospita (the Saviour).
San Nicola in Carcere was rebuilt in 1599, with a new facade by Giacomo della Porta (1532-1602). The church's bell tower, which was originally a fortified tower belonging to the Pierleone family, was left unchanged.
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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