S. Nicola de' Funari

The church of S. Nicola on the slope of the Capitoline Hill was called de funariis or in vincis. This appellation was traditionally connected with the 'cordari' or 'funari' (rope-makers) that were located around Palazzo Mattei in Piazza Paganica. The earliest mention of the church is in 1180, when an inscription was placed to commemorate the consecration of the main altar. The change in the church name occurred in the 17th century, when it was transferred to the confraternity of S. Orsola and S. Caterina.

The church had a single nave and was decorated with remarkable 18th-century stuccoes (Figure 25). The façade had three openings; the central main one was framed by two columns and a tympanum, crowned by an inscription and a fresco of S. Ursula worshipping the Madonna (Armellini and Cecchelli 1942, 678, 1401-2; Lombardi 1996, 276-7). A room was found beneath the church (Muñoz and Colini 1930, 54; Colini 1998, 154).

Figure 25

Figure 25: The church of S. Nicola de Funari (or of S. Orsola and S. Caterina) (AFSRCM)

A cornice fragment with palmettes, which had been included in the altar of the church, was inserted in the stairs that descend from the Capitoline towards the Arch of Septimius Severus (Pietrangeli 1992, 125).


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