Santa Maria Maggiore

About Santa Maria Maggiore

One of Rome's four principal Catholic churches is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. It is a church built in the fifth century and is also known as the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Up to the mid-20th century, it underwent extensive repairs and renovations. The church is well-known for its enormous size, mosaics, and masterpieces produced by the best artists of the time.

As they were built at different times in history, a variety of architectural styles may be seen, from early Christian through Baroque. The marble flooring and mosaics date from the fifth century, while the facades and some interiors were rebuilt in the 18th century. The interior artwork 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 metres, the Bell Tower is regarded as the highest in Rome. If you are in Rome, make sure you visit Santa Maria Maggiore, because it is totally worth your time.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 who plan to visit Santa Maria Maggiore may also enjoy a light show.

Places to visit near Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore:

Explore Santa Maria Maggiore


Fuga created the massive bronze and porphyry figure, which was erected in 1750. Up until the construction of the narthex by Eugenius III (reigned 1145–1153) in the 12th century, the cathedral received only minor repairs. For S Maria Maggiore, mosaic art was made between the fifth and ninth centuries. The previous design, which is in the Classical tradition, includes the most important mosaic cycle in Rome at the time. Chapels were added, and other improvements were made in later decades; Longhi and Fuga were in charge of the modifications to the facade.


Since its construction in the third century, the church has experienced modifications and changes. Standing outdoors in the plaza, everybody visiting Santa Maria Maggiore may admire the Bell Tower. It provides one of the finest views of Rome. Massive marble columns are believed to have come from the original church or perhaps another old Roman building. The church has a view of the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore. The church is 80 metres broad and 75 metres tall, and there is a magnificent Marian column outside.

History of Santa Maria Maggiore

According to legend, snow fell on Esquiline Hill in the middle of August 352, giving a Roman nobleman and his wife a sign from the Virgin Mary. According to Santa Maria Maggiore history, they started constructing a basilica there in her honour. It is evident that a basilica existed on this site as early as the fifth century AD. Its basic structure, including the ancient Old Testament mosaics in the nave and triumphal arch, is still largely intact today. This narrative first appeared about the year 1000 AD.

The Cappella Sistina, often known as the Sistine Chapel, is a building that was commissioned by Pope Sixtus V and adorned by Domenico Fontana, not Michelangelo, of the famed Sistine Chapel. Along with a number of other popes, Sixtus V is also interred here. The Church of Santa Maria in Rome was given to the Pope as a result of the Lateran Treaty in 1929. In fact, the land became recognized as "overseas" Vatican territory by the Italian government. Because of the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by its bishops, it functions much like a second foreign embassy in Rome. In addition, the Basilica is home to Rome's 75-metre-tallest campanile (bell tower). It's highly worth visiting because it's a beautiful fusion of Romanesque, Baroque, Renaissance, and unique architecture.

Know Before You Go

Opening Hours
Dress Code & Location

Opening Hours

Following are the Santa Maria Maggiore timings-

The Basilica is open daily from 7:00 am to 6:45 pm for freeThe Museum is open daily from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm

Dress Code:Wearing clothes that cover your knees and shoulders is recommended when you visit Santa Maria Maggiore.

Address:Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, 42 Rome


Why is Santa Maria Maggiore important?

Most experts consider Santa Maria Maggiore as Rome's second most beautiful church. It was the first church devoted to the Virgin Mary and is one of the four principal basilicas in Rome with a long history.

Who is buried in Santa Maria Maggiore?

Popes Clement IX, Paul V, and Nicolas IV are buried in Santa Maria Maggiore. During a jubilee, it is said that those who pass through all four of Rome's holy doors in a single day receive an indulgence and are cleansed of their sins.

When was Santa Maria Maggiore made?

Based on the Santa Maria Maggiore history, which is situated on Esquiline Hill, it was built in 432, shortly after the Council of Ephesus in 431.

Must Read - Vatican Museum Rules

Is Santa Maria Maggiore open?

Yes, it is open, and you can visit Santa Maria Maggiore. The Basilica is open daily from 7:00 am to 6:45 pm for free, whereas the Museum opens daily at 9:30 am and closes at 6:30 pm.

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