The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the biggest Catholic basilicas all over Rome, Italy and one of four papal basilicas in Rome. It is a Marian church, which means that it is a church that was built in honor of St. Mary. The church is one of the most visited spots in Rome and is located in Piazza dell'Esquilino.
The first building was constructed around 356, under the order of Pope Liberio, whom they say have seen the Virgin Mary in one of his dreams. It was further said that the Virgin Mary specifically indicated to him where the church should be constructed and mentioned that it should be built at the Esquilino Hill, which is why the square where the church was built, is named as Piazza dell'Esquilino.
The original architecture of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore was classical and also traditional. This is to convey an idea that the church symbolizes an old Imperial Rome but also foresees its Christian future. The mosaics that are found inside the church are not only incredibly beautiful, but they are also a perfect representation of the Virgin Mary during the late Antiquity. Right on the back of the Santa Maria Maggiore, one can find the gorgeous apsidal area which was built by the architect Carlo Rainaldi. Another interesting structure near the church is a huge obelisk which was erected in the middle of the Piazza dell'Esquilino. It was originally from the Mausoleum of Augustus and moved here.
How to Get There
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore opens from 7 AM until 7 PM daily, although they close at 6 PM during winter. On Sundays and holidays, they are open from 9:30 AM until 12 noon. No entrance fee is collected. To get there, simply take the subway to Termini Station, then walk on Via Cavour for less than 5 minutes. The Basilica is located just within the Piazza dell'Esquilino.
Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore 42, 00100 Rome, Italy
From 07.00 to 19.00
Metro Lines A and B - station Termini, buses, taxi