Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

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Rome has four significant Catholic churches, one of which is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. It is a church from the fifth century that was also known as the Basilica of Saint Mary Major and underwent extensive repairs and renovations up until the middle of the 20th century. The church is renowned for its enormous size, mosaics, and works of art made by the best artists of the time.

Due to their development at various points in history, various architectural styles may be recognized, ranging from early Christianity to Baroque. While the facades and some interiors were restored in the 18th century, the marble floors and mosaics belong to the fifth century.

The interior murals on the ceiling can be attributed to the Renaissance Era, but the domes, chapel, and columns are all constructed in the usual Baroque style. With a height of 75 meters, the Bell Tower is regarded as the highest in Rome.

The church piazza hosts a unique celebration to commemorate its existence every year during the first week of August. In addition to the breathtaking architecture from the 13th century, visitors may take in a light show. Mosaics in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore are particularly well-known. Some show the Old Testament while others are the legends of the Virgin Mary. The church's architecture also includes murals, frescoes, and bronze statues of angels that decorate its old facades.


The location of church was once home to a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Cybele. Pope Liberius then issued an edict to start building the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in the middle of the fourth century. According to legend, Virgin Mary gave Pope Liberius instructions on how to construct the church when she appeared to him in his dream. In honor of him, the church was later given the name Basilica of Santa Maria Liberiana.

The Legend:

Sort of secret folklore surrounded the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. People first heard about it after the eleventh century. Given that it is mentioned in so few current writings, its historical importance is unknown. The property where the church is now owned by a couple, according to the legend. They decided to distribute their fortune in the name of the Virgin Mary because they had no heirs.

Esquiline Hill experienced snowfall on August 5th night, centuries before the cathedral was constructed. August is the height of the summer in Rome, thus this was viewed as a blessing. The couple saw Mother Mary on the same spot the same night, and they erected a basilica there as a result.

  • imageDuration Required
    1 hour 30 minutes

Address of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore 42, 00185 Rome Italy

Opening & Closing time of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

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Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

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