The Pope's Dragon
The church of Sant' Atanasio dei Greci, and the college attached to it, was founded by Pope Gregory XIII (r. 1572-85) in 1577. It was designed by Giacomo della Porta (1532-1602) and consecrated in 1583.
The pointer of the church's clock-face takes the form of a dragon, the heraldic symbol of the Boncompagni family to which Pope Gregory belonged. The puff of fire from its mouth points out the time. Or at least it did when the clock worked.
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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
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