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St Maria Sopra Minerva Basilica, Rome

(1,600+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Historic Site
A feast for the eyes just a few steps from the Pantheon, St Maria Sopra Minerva Basilica features notable stained glass windows and Michelangelo’s famed statue of Christ the Redeemer. Completed in 1370, this is the city’s only surviving example of original Gothic church building. Behind a restrained Renaissance facade, the interior features arched vaulting, painted blue with gilded stars and trimmed with brilliant red ribbing in a 19th-century Neo-Gothic restoration. The site is a resting place of several popes from the Medici line, and includes the tomb of Fra Angelico, a renowned Renaissance painter. In front of the church, you can see one of the most curious monuments in the city, a statue by sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini of an elephant supporting an Egyptian obelisk. This is the shortest of the 11 obelisks still in existence in Rome. Using our custom trip planner, Rome attractions like St Maria Sopra Minerva Basilica can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Santa Maria Sopra Minerva looks stunning in the travel books. In reality it is too dark to see anything well. It was the most disappointing church that I visited in Rome.  more »
  • Located by the Pantheon and often overlooked by tourists. Such a beautiful basilica! Have your camera ready as you will take several pictures here. Make sure to look up as the ceiling is stunning.  more »
  • The church is located in front of a small piazza with the Bernini statue of the elephant carrying an obelisk. Can't believe how Roman decorate their churches to the max. Went in and were awed by the i...  more »
Google
  • Oh! A Church! In Rome? What's this doing here? But though my head may spin in trying to relate past accounts of a positive avalanche of Roman churches, there is no problem with dear Sopra Minerva. It remains vivid and distinct in my mind and memory. For this Sopra Minerva has a host of advantages. 1. Located next door to the Pantheon, it was right in our neighborhood. We passed it countless times, and I was not averse to taking an occasional rakish shortcut right through the heart of the church itself. 2. All besotted of the Baroque does not mean that an anomalous Gothic interior doesn't offer a bit of very refreshing change. 3. There's a Michelangelo inside (front left corner of the Altar level), and while, sure, the Pieta is better, the Pieta requires two long lines, a security check at an airport level of scrutiny, and can only be viewed in a large crowd, from about 200 paces away, through a foot thickness of acrylic glass that bounces the flashes of constant photo taking into one's eyes. Meanwhile this one is nearly as good (check out the leg!), and you can get within about 3 inches of it on the least whim. 4. There's just something about that Minerva ceiling, like the first stars at the very end of dusk, that makes me go all whoozy inside, like, and I hope you'll forgive me, the prelude swamp scene sky at the start of the Disneyland ride Pirates of the Carribbean. Two peas in a pod. P.S. Never mind that the exterior is bland. Enjoy the elephant appetizer.
  • Beautiful church it worths visiting it, located no far from I'll Pantheon
  • It is an another crown in the feather of beautiful Rome.As like any other churches of city , this is also beautiful
  • Not one of my favorites among the churches of Rome but worth a look. Italy's protector, St Catherine of Siena, is buried here and there is a statue of Christ by Michelangelo
  • Very beautiful place but my girlfriend wasn't allowed in due to her shoulders being out