Rome, the eternal city, is also eternally Catholic. It is the home of the Pope, although technically the head of the church resides in Vatican City, which is a small separate country surrounded by Rome. Travelers, however, do not need to be Catholic to admire the fabulous art and architecture contained in these centuries-old churches. Attending mass in one of these churches in Rome can be as much a cultural experience for non-Catholics as it is a religious experience for Catholics and will provide a new perspective on what makes Rome tick.
1. St. Peter’s Basilica Tours Activities
It may not be the oldest Catholic church in Rome, but St. Peter’s Basilica is definitely the most famous, perhaps in the entire world. The basilica is built on the spot where the first pope, Saint Peter, is believed to have been crucified. The current basilica took more than 150 years to build, but the wait was worth it. Works by such famous Renaissance artists as Michelangelo, who also designed the dome, can be found throughout its ornate interior. The basilica and its associated chapels and museums are to be savored, not rushed into a blur.
2. San Giovanni in Laterano
San Giovanni in Laterano (Saint John Lateran) is one of the four major basilicas in Rome. Dedicated to John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, it is the cathedral that is the seat of both the Archbishop of Rome and the Pope. It is known as “the cathedral of Rome and of the world”. It is believed to be the first Catholic church built in Rome. Its exterior doesn’t look as ornate as other churches, but walk in and wow! It is highly ornate, with wall decorations, columns, mosaics and paintings, even the candlesticks bear images of the prophets.
3. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
The Basilica of Santa Maria Mayor is considered one of the most important Catholic churches in Rome, that is, a jewel in the crown. The church contains an impressive array of artifacts and art that represent Rome’s Christian artistic civilization. Pilgrims from all over the world come here to pay homage to the basilica, where every stained glass window, column or fresco has a religious story. Travelers who are in Rome on August 5 may want to attend the Miracle of the Snows celebration when thousands of white petals fall from the ceiling.
4. Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo
Of all the churches in Rome, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is said to contain the best examples of works by Renaissance artists, including Raphael, Bernini, and Caravaggio. The church was built in 1099 to combat residents’ belief that the ghost of Nero was haunting the area near the north gate of Rome because evil ravens lived in a tree that the tree was cut down and the church built. The church has several chapels, all of them with works by the main artists of the time.
5. Pantheon Tours Activities
The Pantheon is one of the few major religious structures in Rome that did not start out as a Catholic church. This most influential building in ancient Rome was instead a temple to the pagan gods of Rome. It was built by Emperor Hadrian around the year 118 to replace a pantheon that was destroyed by fire in the year 80. It became a Catholic church in the early 7th century. The Pantheon stands out for its architecture, especially for the dome supported by arches. Two kings and Raphael, a Renaissance artist, are buried here.
6. Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, a church operated by the Dominicans, stands on the site that was once the temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis, although at the time it was believed to be that of the Greco-Roman goddess Minerva. Built in 1370, it is located one block from the Pantheon. Considered a minor basilica, the church is said to be the only remaining example of an original Gothic church in Rome. It contains a statue by Michelangelo as well as impressive 15th-century frescoes.
7. Basilica of San Clemente
The Basilica of San Clemente is named after Saint Clement, who was the third pope after Saint Peter. Located just a few blocks from the Colosseum, the current church is built on four layers of buildings, including other churches, beginning with a Christian home that was destroyed in AD 64 during a fire more closely associated with Emperor Nero. At one time the church was a pagan temple, it has also been an Augustinian and Dominican facility, and today it is operated by Irish Dominicans. The church stands out for its fabulous frescoes and mosaics.
8. Santa Maria in Trastevere
Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches in Rome, and most historians believe it was built around 350. The church features impressive mosaics from the 12th and 13th centuries and has been enlarged and restored over the years. the years. The church was destroyed when Rome was sacked in 410, but was rebuilt. The head of Saint Apollonia is preserved as a relic, as well as a section of the Saint Sponge. A legend associated with the church is that oil flowed from the ground on the day Christ was born. Santa Maria in Trastevere was later built on that spot.
What is the most famous church in Rome?
St Peter’s basilica. Possibly the most famous church in the world, Saint Peter is the great father of all the churches in Rome. This basilica is a must-see on any visit to Rome, and tourists flock from all over the world to take in the spectacular view from the basilica’s massive dome.
What are the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome?
The Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome are listed in the following order in Franzini’s guide (1595): San Giovanni Laterano, San Pietro, San Paolo fuori le mura, Santa Maria Maggiore, San Lorenzo fuori le mura, San Sebastiano, and Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Giovanni Baglione in his book lists nine main churches of Rome,
What is the oldest Christian church in Rome?
San Giovanni Laterano – Cathedral of Rome. San Giovanni, is the oldest church in Rome and the first church of the popes, from the fourth century until the papacy moved to France in 1309. The residence of the Pope was in the Lateran Palace. It is the first Christian church built in Rome. The current church is baroque,
How many churches are there in Rome Italy?
With a total of 900 churches, the city of Rome is the best place in the world to discover impressive religious architecture. The Italian capital is famous for being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and nowhere is this more evident than in the stunning architecture, world-class art, and fascinating stories of Rome’s churches.
What are the basilicas in Rome called?
ST. MAJOR MARY. The Basilica of Saint Mary Major – also known as Basilica of Saint Mary of the Snow and Liberian Basilica in the Italian language and Basilica of Saint Mary Major in the English language – is one of the five great ancient Catholic basilicas of Rome.
What is the largest church in Rome Italy?
The Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura is one of the five churches considered to be the great ancient basilicas of Rome, Italy. It is the largest church in Rome after Saint Peter’s.
What is the tallest basilica in the world?
The most impressive thing is its height, 136 meters from the ground to the top of the magnificent dome, the highest in the world. According to Catholic tradition, the Basilica is the burial place of Saint Peter the Apostle, the first Pope and Bishop of Rome.
Is Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome?
Although they are all within the diocese of Rome, Saint Peter’s Basilica is the only one that is actually in Vatican City, within the jurisdiction of the Holy See, while the other 3 are in Italian territory (receiving a extraterritorial status under the Lateran Treaty).
How does a church become a basilica?
The process begins when a church applies to its local diocese for permission to apply to become a basilica. Your petition will state the reasons why you believe your church is worthy of being distinguished as a basilica. The request is denied or approved by the Bishop of the Diocese.
Did the Pope live in a basilica?
This papal residence was in the current basilica commonly known as Saint John Lateran, located on the Caelian hill in Rome. Then, from 1309 to 1376, the pope lived in Avignon, France, due to a political dispute. This gave rise to a series of French popes who were under the political influence of the French king.
Where in Rome is the Roman basilica located?
The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine (Italian: Basilica di Massenzio), sometimes known as Basilica Nova -meaning “new basilica”- or Basilica of Maxentius, is an ancient building in the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy. It was the largest building in the Forum and the last Roman basilica built in the city.
Why was Saint Peter’s Basilica built?
Saint Peter’s Basilica (Italian: Basilica di San Pietro) is a Renaissance basilica in Rome. It is built on the Circus of Nero to commemorate the crucifixion of Saint Peter. The basilica is located in the Vatican quarter and is the central place of worship for the Catholic Church.