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Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem: Baroque facade, bell tower behind
Parish church and minor basilica; it is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated around 325 to house the Passion Relics brought to Rome from the Holy Land by St. Helena of Constantinople, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine I. At that time, the basilica floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title "in Hierusalem." The church is built around a room in St. Helena's imperial palace, Palazzo Sessoriano; it was restored by Pope Lucius II (1144-1145) in a Romanesque style. Between 1740 and 1746 Gregorini and Passalacqua restored the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, a commission from Pompeo Aldrovandi, governor of Rome. The interior of the basilica was extensively altered, despite the retention of the original structure.