Rome has been the center of power, culture, and religion for centuries. It’s home to ancient ruins and architecture that is unique. It is a must-visit for travelers who want to experience ancient Roman history, modern architecture, and cultural diversity. Rome has so many museums, galleries, churches, cathedrals, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, bars and clubs that sometimes it is hard to explore them all. However, there are some historic churches in Rome that you shouldn’t miss.
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Between the Ruins of History – Historic Churches in Rome to Visit
Much Like other great cities of ancient times, Rome’s present-day architecture is built on top of layers from the past. Rome’s churches are no exception. Many were built over old churches and pagan temples. The Baroque era (17th-18th centuries) was a time of lavish architecture and art for Rome. Most of Rome’s treasured churches, that astonishes millions of visitors, are from this period. If you are planning to visit Rome next year, take your time to check out ETIAS website for updated entry regulations of the EU.
While Rome accommodates around 900 historic churches, we have created the list of five most prominent and beautiful landmarks, that you shouldn’t miss while on Roman Vacations.
The Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano
The Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano is one of the most visited churches in the world. It is also one of the largest churches in the world.
The Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano is a destination for some of the most important religious events, including Easter and Christmas masses. The church was built over two different periods: first by Constantine I between 326 and 330, then by his son Constantius II from 357 to 360.
The basilica features an octagonal floor plan with eight side chapels around its perimeter. It also features a dome that full of mosaics and frescoes, which are considered to be among the best examples of early Christian art. The church accommodates one of the most famous and finest examples of medieval art – Pieta by Michelangelo.
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is a Catholic-basilica located in the city of Rome, Italy. It is one of the oldest churches in the city, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore was built over a long period of time starting from the early 4th century. The church originally served as a Roman temple of goddess Minerva and later became home to Christian relics including Christ’s Crown of Thorns and his tunic.
The Basilica is famous for its vast interior, which contains many works of art such as mosaics, frescos, and sculptures. The building also houses important relics including those from St Peter’s Basilica such as St Peter’s chains. The Basilica is also famous for its musical organs—the largest of which is the “Mendelssohn” organ (“Mercury”) with 5,109 pipes and 46 registers built by G. Donald Harrison in 1982 to replace a previous organ of 4,850 pipes.
San Giovanni in Laterano
San Giovanni in Laterano is located on the Aventine Hill near the Colosseum and just outside the ancient city walls.
The history of San Giovanni in Laterano began with a donation of land to the Bishop of Rome by Emperor Constantine I after he had signed a document with Stilicho, Honorius’ magister militum, on February 27th, 315. San Giovanni was built over an older building that was destroyed during the reign of Emperor Maxentius in 309. This church served as a model for many others in Rome and throughout Italy.
San Giovanni’s history is closely linked with the evolution of Christianity in Rome. The first three bishops of this church served as popes and the Basilica was the site where St. John Lateran, became the first pope. The church is also notable for its mosaics and a silver-gilt reliquary.
Santa Maria del Popolo
Santa Maria del Popolo is a church in Rome, Italy. It was built in the 16th century by the Dominican order of friars. The order dedicated the church to Mary, the mother of Jesus and is often referred to as “del Popolo” or “of the people.”
In 1761, Pope Benedict XIV dedicated the church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted a competition for its design and construction. The Dominicans who had bought the site in 1622, commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to design it. Pope Pius VI granted it collegiate status in 1775 after it lay abandoned for four centuries. The church became part of a monastery for monks in 1810. However, after some time the monastic buildings became a museum and art gallery.
The Pantheon was originally a temple to all the gods. It is one of the best-preserved buildings from ancient Rome. The Pantheon is one of the most recognizable structures in all of Rome. It was in AD 126 when Emperor Hadrian commissioned the church to commemorate his deified relatives. The structure has a circular temple with a dome and portico at its center, topped by an obelisk. Since 4th century the Pantheon has served as a Christian church.
Rome has been the center of the world for quite some time. And even after that continued to evolve in flamboyant manner. The result is that you can never have enough of Rome. While there are plenty of landmarks and historic places in Rome, in this article we have outlined some of the top-rated and must-see places for everyone who is traveling to Rome for the first time.