Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

4.8
World heritage site · Religious Site · Historic Site
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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
16,256 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The most impressive interior of a church that I have ever seen, located in a not well maintained area of Rome (Termini). Marble and gold everywhere you can look and the ceiling is very special. 
    The most impressive interior of a church that I have ever seen, located in a not well maintained area of Rome (Termini). Marble and gold everywhere you can look and the ceiling is very special.  more »
  • This place is absolutely stunning. Every inch of it is beautiful... Truly special and worth a visit. It's free entry but currently as at the time of writing, you need a face mask on. :) 
    This place is absolutely stunning. Every inch of it is beautiful... Truly special and worth a visit. It's free entry but currently as at the time of writing, you need a face mask on. :)  more »
  • So close to our hotel. No lines or fee to go inside. Beautiful church! The square around the church is a great place to stop for gelato on a busy day. 
    So close to our hotel. No lines or fee to go inside. Beautiful church! The square around the church is a great place to stop for gelato on a busy day.  more »
Google
  • If you tour Rome, you will end up here at some point. Just take a moment and enjoy the architecture. It is quite lovely. Not many places on Earth give a view like this. The train station is very nice from outside. If only the city was cleaned up a bit more. It's still lovely.
  • A beautiful basilica, located just a short walk from Termini train station. Impressive from the outside, but the inside is dazzling. Everywhere you turn there is stunning artwork. I was fortunate enough to be there during a mass. There is no entrance fee.
  • Gorgeous Basilica with a ton of history. The artwork through is absolutely beautiful, from the ceiling to the alter to the statues and paintings. It's so fascinating to see how the building has survived and was adapted for so long. Even if the facade of the original is gone, it still holds much history! Absolutely worth a visit, especially as it is free!
  • The outside is not so impressive, but the inside is an architectural masterpiece! The space is kept respectful and polite. Free entry, just keep the space quiet. should visit to see respect for their religion, and see how beautiful and big the faith is.
  • I didn’t plan to visit this basilica at all: it’s not close to the city center and I just was there because I needed to come to an opera to return tickets. And when I crossed the street and turned right, I saw a beautiful enormous building! Of course I went to see it inside. To enter, you need to do a check-in of your bags and metal detection. Then entering… magnificent, like in the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City! 🔥 The ceiling is unbelievable! What a beauty! What’s more, it’s the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome and one of the 4 that holds the title of papal major basilica. You can also enter there the Crypt of the Nativity or Bethlehem Crypt, with a crystal reliquary designed by Giuseppe Valadier said to contain wood from the Holy Crib of the nativity of Jesus Christ. Must-come!

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