Chiesa di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

Church in Monti, Esquilino & San Lorenzo

One of Rome’s seven pilgrimage churches, this church was founded in 320 by St Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, in the grounds of her palace. It takes its name from the Christian relics here – including a piece of Christ’s cross and St Thomas’ doubting finger – that St Helena brought to Rome from Jerusalem, housed in a chapel to the left of the altar.

Of particular note are the lovely 15th-century Renaissance apse frescoes representing the legends of Christ's cross, showing where the wood came from and how it was turned into the cross.