In front of the castle is St. Aurea’s cathedral.
It was restored by Bellator, bishop in Ostia in 495 and by Pope Sergio I, in the 6 th century, when the roof was built. Inside, near the apse in 1950, a little marble column was found, dating back to the 5 th century which was probably an Easter candle.
The late antique church was bigger, it has brick walls and it was divided into three naves. Some remains are still visible.
Who commissioned this building was cardinal d’Estouteville, bishop of Ostia and Velletri, but someone still has some doubts. Certainly it was in terrible conditions when pope Martin V in 1430 gave order to dig in search of saint Monica’s corpse. D’Esteuteville carried out consistent renovation works because of the Jubilee in 1475, the inscription on the triumphal arch ‘aedem divae aurae iulius cardinalis episcopus ostiensis dicavit’ seems to indicate Julius II as the person who commissioned
the church. Giorgio Vasari attributes the project to Baccio Pontelli, others to Giuliano da Sangallo or Bramante.