The Triclinium of Pope Leo III
Piazza di Porta San Giovanni
Standing in splendid isolation on the north side of Piazza di Porta San Giovanni is the so-called Triclinium of Pope Leo III, which was erected by Ferdinando Fuga in 1743 for Pope Benedict XIV (r. 1740-58).
The Triclinium Leoninum is a homage to the famous 9th century banqueting hall that Pope Leo III (r. 795-816) built for the ancient Lateran Palace, which once stood on the site of the 16th century palace of the same name.
The mosaics, which are a faithful copy of the originals, depict (in the centre) Christ sending the Apostles to preach the gospel. On the left of the apse Christ gives the keys to St. Peter and a standard to Emperor Constantine the Great, while on the right St. Peter gives the pallium to Pope Leo III and a standard to Charlemagne (whom the pope crowned Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Eve, 800, in St Peter's Basilica).
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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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