Exploring Rome’s many beautiful attractions? The Santa Maria Maggiore church is probably on your list as well! This is one of the many churches dedicated to Saint Maria; what makes this one special however is the fact that it is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, and it has a magnificent gilded ceiling. Plus: the Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four papal basilicas. Would you like more information about religious attractions in Rome? Then watch our special video guide about the subject. To get to know more about this specific church, just keep reading…
Get to know the Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome
Located not far from the Stazione Termini, it was built under Pope Sixtus the third, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the whole city. The Santa Maria Maggiore contains some major art works, such as the the statue of Pius IX by Ignazio Jacometti, the funerary monument of Clement IX by Carlo Rainaldi and many other great works. One of the greatest artists of Rome, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, known for his Baroque sculpture style, is buried in this church along with a number of Popes.
You will find the same church under the name “St. Mary of the Snow”, this name derives from a legend that tells the story of two identical dreams on the same exact night where Virgin Mary appeared to both Patrician John and Pope Liberius and told them to build a church where snow will be falling the next day. So it was Esquiline Hill where snow started falling in the shape of a church floor plan, in the middle of the summer. If you believe in miracles, this is the place to visit!
The church is known also for its seventy five meter bell tower, the tallest bell tower in Rome. When you enter the church you will not be able to ignore the thirty six iconic columns that divide into three naves, as well as the amazing ceiling designed by Guiliano Sangallo and gilded of gold given to Pope Alexander VI through the Spanish king by the famous Christopher Columbus. The church is open daily and the admission is free. Our tip? Combine it wth a visit to the great Colosseum, located about 900 meters far from the basilica, or even closer, the Baths of Diocletian!
For more tips and ideas that will maximize your stay in Rome, check the rest of our videos about this magnificent city.