Colonne di San Lorenzo

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Colonne di San Lorenzo

Milan
Italy

The Colonne di San Lorenzo is the best-known Roman ruin in Milan. It is located in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo. It is a square with a row of columns on either side, which were taken from a temple or public bath house dating from the 2nd century. The columns were moved to their current location sometime in the 4th century. South of the columns, one of the medieval gates of the city is still in place, with Roman marbles in it.

Up until 1935, the space between the church and columns was entirely occupied by old houses abutting onto the façade of the church itself. Indeed, the church complex was fully surrounded by old houses. Despite the plans to conserve this ancient urban fabric, the renovations led to the demolition of the old houses and the isolation of the monument on the front side. Following bombing during World War II, the church complex became isolated also on the rear side, where a fenced urban park (which is called Basilicas Park or Parco delle Basiliche in italian) now stands, allowing popular views of the complex and of another church nearby.

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