Basilica of SS. Silvestro and Martino ai Monti

The Basilica of San Silvestro e Martino ai Monti is one of the oldest churches in Rome. Like many religious buildings of the same period, it originated as a titulus, a private property used as a place of meeting and prayer for Christians. The sources record the presence on the site of the Titulus Equiti et Silvestri, a building owned by a certain Equitius, perhaps a presbyter: Pope Sylvester I ordered the construction of a place of Christian worship here at the time of Constantine. Only in AD 509 was it turned into the first genuine church, dedicated by Pope Symmachus to St Martin of Tours. This church was completely demolished in the mid-ninth century, to make way for a larger building that has survived until the present. In 1299, the church and the adjoining monastery were assigned to the Carmelites by Pope Boniface VIII, and became home to the Prior General of the Carmelites and his curia. In the middle decades of the seventeenth century, General Giovanni Antonio Filippini had the church completely renovated; many of the Baroque furnishings that can still be admired today date to this time.