- This church was founded by St Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine, when she returned from the Holy Land with the remains of the Cross on which Christ was crucified. It was built in the atrium of the queen's palace, which was divided into three naves, with an apse added. The basilica is on one of the seven routes of pilgrimage. Over the centuries it has undergone various renovations: on the inside, where a series of mosaics (many times restored) were placed; and on the outside, where a convent was built. The tomb of Cardinal Francisco Quinones, an example of Sansovino's Roman period, is at the centre of the apse. The church you see nowadays dates from the changes ordered by Pope Benedict XIV in the early 18th century. The interior conserves the three naves, but only part of the original granite columns remains. The façade was built by Domenico Gregorini and Pietro Passalacqua and can be considered as one of the last examples of Roman Baroque.
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