Rome Sights

Santi Cosma e Damiano

  • Via in Miranda 11 Map It
  • Monti
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 06/07/2016

Fodor's Review

Home to one of the most striking early Christian mosaics, this church was adapted in the 6th century from two ancient buildings: the library in Vespasian's Forum of Peace and a hall of the Temple of Romulus (dedicated to the son of Maxentius who had been named for Rome's founder). In the apse is the famous AD 530 mosaic of Christ in Glory. It reveals how popes at the time strove to re-create the splendor of imperial audience halls into Christian churches: Christ wears a gold, Roman-style toga, and his pose recalls that of an emperor addressing his subjects. He floats on a blue sky streaked with a flaming sunset—a miracle of tesserae mosaic-work. To his side are the figures of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, who represent Cosmas and Damian (patron saints of doctors), two Syrian benefactors whose charity was such that they were branded Christians and condemned to death. Beneath this awe-inspiring work is an enchanting mosaic frieze of holy lambs.

Sight Information


Via in Miranda 11, Rome, Latium, 00186, Italy

Map It



Published 06/07/2016


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