Triclinium Leoninum

The so called "Triclinium of Leo III" (Triclinium Leoninum) has survived as an apse lined with mosaics and open to the air. It was one of the most famous halls of the ancient Lateran palace and was the state banqueting hall. From the beginning of the fourth century, when it was given to the pope by Constantine, the palace of the Lateran was the principal residence of the popes, and continued so for about a thousand years. In the tenth century Sergius III restored it after a disastrous fire, and later on it was greatly embellished by Innocent III. This was the period of its greatest magnificence, when Dante speaks of it as beyond all human achievements.