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The interior of the rather austere albeit lovely Chiesa di Santi Luca e Martina. The church is dedicated to St. Luke and St. Martina, a third-century martyr. It's located at the Roman Forum, near the Arch of Septimius Severus, but outside the archaeological area. Its early origins are somewhat obscure. The first church on the site may have dated to the sixth or seventh century. It was apparently initially dedicated to St. Martina, known as the Church in Three Forums, as it is located at the nexus of the Forum Romanum, the Forum of Augustus and the Forum of Caesar. In 1588 Pope Sixtus V granted it to the Accademia di San Luca, and it was rebuilt by Pietro da Cortona from 1635-1664. He was the head of the Academy at that time. It was then it was also dedicated to St. Luke but it retained its association with St. Martina when the relics were found, reportedly while da Cortona was constructing his own tomb in the crypt. There is a painting over the altar of St. Luke at his easel, painting the Virgin. It also has a rather elaborate crypt, featuring a bas-relief of the Entombment of Christ by Alessandro Algardi. The main chapel in the crypt also features a bronze altar by da Cortona himself, over the relics of St. Martina, and a throne where early popes reportedly sat at the start of the purification procession.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 73 W: 75 N: 398] (1086)
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