Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

#6 of 519 in Historic Sites in Rome
World heritage site · Religious Site · Church
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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16,130 reviews
  • The Basilica was wonderful! It is worth the special trip to see. So many great places outside in the area to see. You won't be disappointed.  more »
  • Wow, the art as always outstanding. Bernini, Michelangelo et cetera. One of the many churches in Rome one needs to see while here.  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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