Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

#6 of 522 in Historic Sites in Rome
World heritage site · Religious Site · Historic Site
Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, a World Heritage site crowning the top of the Esquiline Hill, features fifth-century mosaics that are some of the oldest representations of the Virgin Mary. This ancient church is renowned for all its ancient mosaics, which are particularly impressive when the floodlights are turned on. The depictions of the site's triumphal arch and the nave served as models for many other representations of the Virgin Mary created during subsequent centuries. The building contains a 14th-century bell tower, the highest in the city. The site's 16th-century coffered ceiling is said to be gilded with Incan gold that Christopher Columbus initially brought for his patrons, Spain's joint rulers Ferdinand and Isabella. The church also includes a museum that details the history of the site and features several notable works of art. Using our international travel planner, Rome attractions like Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore reviews

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16,073 reviews
  • This church is a must-see on anyone’s list when traveling to Rome,the architect Bernini is buried there.  more »
  • Very impressive building, it is nice that you can enter for free. Obviously, when in Rome, visit the St Peter's Basilica but this one is also very interesting to see  more »
  • Oh my God! it's a great moment for us to see this amazing place. I think we past by at least 20 times and decided to enter the church. We're amazed at the details, the history and art. If in Rome a most see place and it free to enter however, don't forget to donate. Don't be discouraged by my photos my children takes better photos on their cameras.
  • Gorgeous and enormous. One of those things that makes you stop in awe. Regardless of religion, the architecture and art contained within are gorgeous, never mind the services and singing. It’s also free - so easily worth a stop in to sit, meditate and rest while you listen to the choirs or organs.

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