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Basilica di San Clemente Al Laterano
Basilica di San Clemente was built in the 12th century and represents typical Romanesque style, although overlaid with later alterations and additions - including an 18th century Baroque facade (which is using the 12th century colums in its construction). Underneath the 12th century building are remains of one eight centuries older. It's likely that this 4th century church housed the relics of St Clement, the fourth pope to whom the Basilica is dedicated. Under the 12th century building, and below the remains of the 4th century one, lies a Roman structure around two thousand years old, containing a temple of Mithras: the altar depicting Mithras slaying the bull is sitting directly under the apse of the Christian church. The current church contains mosaics dating to the 12th century, filling the apse with the image of the Cross as the Tree of Life. The Basilica contains also some frescos from 11th and 15th centuries.
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
The Basilica of St John Lateran lies on the boundary of the Vatican City and has been granted a special independent status from the city of Rome by the Pope. It is officially the cathedral of Rome and the seat of the Bishop of Rome. Of Rome's four major basilicas this is the oldest and most important. Amongst Roman Catholics it is referred to as the ecumenical mother church (the mother church of the entire inhabited world). Constructed in the year 324AD the Basilica of St John Lateran has undergone many alterations over the centuries. In 1308 the basilica was partly destroyed by fire so much of what we see today dates from after this time. It is especially famous for its statues of the twelve apostles, dating from the late 17th century. It also contains the tombs of six different Popes. The Basilica of St John Lateran is open daily from 7am until 7pm (6pm in winter), admission is free but donations are welcome. This attraction is well served by public transport. The nearest underground station is San Giovanni.