Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

4.8
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
15,250 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I loved this place, the doors will blow your mind away, just go and enjoy , experience this amazing place.  more »
  • Simply splendid. In my opinion, this is a must-see monument of Rome. Admission is free.
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  • One of the most beautiful Basillicas in Rome, very old and a must see, lots of photos to be taken, and a beautiful place to prey  more »
Google
  • Absolutely loved it! As a Muslim I had no issues entering and exploring almost every part of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. I went with my wife and child (5 months). It was free and fairly easy to get around although you will have to carry the pushchair up a few steps to get in and also to gain access to some of the places inside. Nevertheless, we managed! It is a calm, peaceful place of prayer. I stood in awe of the artwork and the architecture- breathtaking! There are priests in prayer and ceremonies which I have never witnessed before. It has opened my mind so much more about faith from the view of Catholicism. I would highly recommend a visit (stop 2 of the hop-on, hop-off bus), there are no restrictions to gender, ethnicity or religion for that matter. Thank you for opening your doors to us. Let us learn and appreciate differences- respecting each others beliefs always. A very educational experience indeed. It was fairly hot due to the summer heat. There is no AC so children, particularly, can get frustrated. Please bare this in mind. Hope you enjoy as much as us! Will be sharing what I learnt on my YouTube channel soon if anybody is interested.
  • Very nice Basilica plus no charge to enter. Beautiful paintings and marvellous design whether it’s the roof or walls. As this was close to where I stayed so just went over but found it very relaxing and beautiful.
  • This is a beautiful cathedral which also happens to be a stop for our hop On Hop off bus. That Transportation was a great way for us to get around Rome and near the vicinity of many important sites while resting and not having to worry about driving in the crazy traffic or finding parking. Rome is full of beautiful cathedrals of which this is just one. I would not make a special trip across town to visit this one. If you are here for a short visit then visit st. Peters Cathedral instead. If you are here for a week I would definitely stop here. Especially if you are going to be in the area anyway. Also in the area is a cathedral which Michelangelo designed from an old Roman bath house and the cathedral containing bernini's famous sculpture the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. Those were both even better in my opinion.
  • Since this church was just down the road from our hotel we decided to go and check it out. Well, one thing that captured my imagination was that they kept on referring to it as the Basilisk, which is some awesomely cool medieval monster. Well, not quite because they were probably using the Italian work for church, which is something like basilica.
  • So calm and peaceful without the crowds and bustle. Free entry and another way to see some works but some amazing Italian artists and sculptors. Amazing architecture. Recommend.
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