The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the main four basilicas of Rome and the only one to have preserved its ancient paleo-Christian structure. It was constructed in the second half of the 4th century and, legend has it, its construction followed a miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary to Pope Liberius. It actually was built on the spot where it supposedly snowed during the middle of the summer. It is characterized by its majestic façade, mainly the result of work done in 1743, and its Romanesque bell tower, which dates to 1375. With its height of 75 meters, it is the tallest bell tower in Rome.
The church is divided into three naves, divided by columns topped with Ionic capitals. The apse dates to the 13th century, while the central nave is decorated by a series of mosaics that seem to date to the 5th century. A number of other important works of art are found within the church. Besides this church, take a trip to the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, the San Giovanni in Laterano Church and the Pineta Sacchetti.
Address: Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore 42, 00100 Roma RM, Italy
Open hours: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Phone: +39 06 6988 6800
Architect: Ferdinando Fuga