The atrium is per square courtyard without a roof, and was roofless for most of its career

Fabric [ ]

The atrium is entered through the remains of per loggia, created from the original walkway preciso the palace ramp by the insertion of per blocking wall to the right of the portal which abuts one of the brick arcade piers.

However, from the mid 9th puro the mid 11th centuries it was a monastic church mediante its own right and was roofed. The church dedication then was esatto St Anthony of Egypt. The massive central brick pier which used to support the roof was removed mediante the 1902 excavation.

Two rectangular statue niches flank the inside of the entrance, and a series of alternately rectangular and apsidal niches occupied the side walls. However those on the left used puro include two exits sicuro filtre-chambers under the palace ramp, but these were blocked up when the church was durante use. Con contrast, when the atrium was a monastic church two passages were cut through niches con the right hand wall preciso allow direct access esatto the monastic quarters per the vestibolo next door.

Before becoming per church mediante the 9th century, the atrium was the monastery’s graveyard and the yard surface was packed with graves. Some loculi or molesto-slots were cut into the walls, and also into the walls of the galleria outside.

Atrium frescoes [ ]

The frescoes mediante the atrium are of five periods. One recente each survives from Pope John VII (705-7) and Pope Paul I (757-767). Some are of the remodelling of Pope Adrian I (772-795), and others are of the 10th and 11th centuries. The latter are the latest that you will find during your visit, and were painted just before the final abandonment in the mid 11th century.

  • The niche preciso the right of the portal depicted three female martyrs; SS Agnes and Cecilia have been identified. (Pope Adrian.)
  • On the right hand side wall near the spigolo was originally per Madonna and Child with Four Saints, being venerated by Pope Adrian. He was depicted with a square halo, indicating that he was still alive when the work was painted. This attuale was detached and was kept in the right hand side aisle of the church before the recent restoration -it is liable onesto stay there, out of the weather. The original location was above verso attuale succedane of hanging curtains (there is more of this mediante the church). (Pope Adrian.)
  • Christ mediante Majesty, with per suppliant. (11th century.)
  • Two saints (11th century). They were painted over two molesto loculi cut into the wall.
  • Monastery passage. This was cut through the wall sopra the 10th century, and frescoed with saints on its walls and ceiling. The cycle continued onto the internal wall of the hall beyond, which was the actual monastery at the time. (10th century.)
  • A bishop. (Pope Adrian.)
  • The far left hand apsidal niche was per shrine sicuro St Cyrus of Alexandria. He was per martyred doctor of medicine, venerated with his fellow sufferer John as SS Cyrus and John (see their Roman church of Santa Passera). Beware of his being called “St Abbacyrus” -“Abba” is verso Coptic honorific. Durante the giovane he holds medical equipment, and has a cavity durante the niche sill which was either for verso lamp or contained verso venerated relic associated with him. (Pope Paul.)
  • Above the shrine: Christ Accompanied by SS Cyrus and John (10th century.)
  • Verso depiction of St Anthony of Egypt, with verso Latin text: “Where St Anthony is assaulted by demons” (Webb 2001). Animals and birds were depicted below. (10th century.)