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The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

One of the most beautiful basilicas in Rome, located on the top of the Esquiline Hill where you will find 4-5 centuries AD mosaic.

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The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

#41 of 66 places to visit in Rome
The Roman Basilica of Saint Mary Major is one of the most important monument of Christian art and it is considered to be the most beautiful Baroque building all around Europe.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Photo: Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, © Javier de la Rosa

The construction started in 352. During all the centuries the basilica was being changed and it made the sanctuary interior and exterior more beautiful.
The interesting fact is that the highest bell tower in Rome is located right in this church. The superior piece of architecture is worth visiting by travelers and city visitors. Splendid interior of halls and graceful appearance of the building strikes with its impressive uniqueness and splendid beauty from the very first seconds.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Photo: Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, © Ivan PC

The Basilica excursion


In the area of the temple next to the central entrance there is an ancient obelus ovearched with the Holly Virgin monument. On the western frontal part you can see the enclosed balcony built in XVIII century upon the project of brilliant architect Ferdinando Fuga. But the most interesting thing you can see at the church entrance. Impressive majesty of decoration and unique style that remained till nowadays. From the side parts of the hall outsatnding columns rises up as if the are holding the splendid dropped ceiling. In the center of each cassette there is a decoration of tracery roses and gold-plating.

Obelisque in front of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Photo: Obelisque in front of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, © Marcos Casado

• At the end of the hall there is a pontifical altar decorated with a ceremonial baldachin. At the top of the hall there is a magnificent arch decorated with mosaic.
• On the church's walls there are invaluable works of art made by ancient masters of XVI century. They are quite implressive tiny mosaic pictures depicting biblical scenes. It can take you hours to admire the unique beauty and luxurious interior.

Some more things worth seeing while visiting the majestic basilica



• Villa Borghese decorated with frescos on fornication;
• Salus Populi Romani venerated icon;
• the Holly Crib over the altar;
• crystal urn with silver painting;
• marble statues and grave-stones of deceased pontifs;
• picturesque dome of eight sectors;
• unusual floor made in cosmatesque style with geometric combination of white marble • and mosaics also draws attention of travelers coming in the ancient Roman cathedral.

Dome of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Photo: Dome of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, © Joanne Wan

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Photo: Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, © Ivan PC

You'll get only pleasant impressions in Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The guide will tell you the legend about the cathedral creation revealing interesting facts about Christians life. On the upper floor of the church there is a museum where the most precious antiquities connected with the basilica history are kept.

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Photo: The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, © Andy Hoxie

How to get to the basilica


You can get to the Santa Maria Maggiore taking buses №16, 75, 649, 717, 360 or taking a taxi and get to the station with the same name.
Adress:Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore, 42
Church visiting is free; museum ticket is 4 euros.

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore on the map

Location: Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 42, Roma

Open hours

7 am till 7 pm

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Reviews

Guest20 July 2017

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Photo credit © Justin Ennis