Visitors are surprised to learn that St. John Lateran is the Cathedral of Rome. The imposing facade - a smaller version of front of St. Peter's - indicates the importance of the church. The popes used to live here, but the Vatrican was found to be more defensible. A number of important church council took place here.
The bronze main doors came originally from the Curia in the Forum.
The Lateran like St. Paul's has these cloisters with thin marble columns inlaid with mosaics. This feature only seems to be found around Rome.
An other view of the cloisters.
This gallery displays a number of artifacts from around the church. It is not unusual to have an area like this in a church in Rome.
This figure made me wonder what Medievel Romans knew about Egyptian sphinxes.
The north facade dates from the Sixteenth Century.