Santa Maria Maggiore


The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) is one the four Papal Basilicas of Rome Located on the Esquiline Hill, it is the only church which maintained its original early Christian structure.



The Basilica is also known as Santa Maria of the snow was founded by Pope Liberius between 432 and 440 A.D
According to the tradition the Virgin Mary appeared to Pope Liberius to tell him that the place where sanctuary was to be built would be shown by a miracle.
On the morning of the 5th of August it unusually snowed on the Esquiline Hill, so Pope Liberius hurried there to trace the perimeter of the church on the snow. This event is still remembered today every 5th August by means of fake snow consisting of white petals falling from the ceiling of the Basilica.

One of the best preserved works in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is the mosaic dating back to the V century which depicts events from the Old and the New Testament. It still shows the typical features of the Late Antiquity: the volume and space effects are obtained by means of hues and shadows. The mosaics in the front arch depicting scenes of Christ’s childhood from the Apocrypha are in the Byzantine style.
The mosaic depicting the coronation of Mary is by Jacopo Torriti and dates back to Nicholas IV's pontificate, like the facade mosaics by  Filippo Rusuti. The fleche was added during the Middle Ages.
Among the works added over the centuries the Sforza Chapel designed by Michelangelo stands out. The main facade featuring a colonnade and a loggia was built by Ferdinando Fuga between 1741 and 1743.

Places of Interest

The best facilities - Santa Maria Maggiore

Inn Urbe Colosseo
on 36 reviews
Right in the heart of Rome, Inn Urbe boasts an intimate and cozy atmosphere offering guests comfortable accommodation and versatile amenities to satisfy all of their travel needs. We are conveniently ...
From45 €
on 23 reviews
Termini Station Area. Our B&B is designed to offer our guests a functional yet homey stay.Our prices are absolutely concorrential. The quality of our services and the contained costs make our B&B an ...
From23 €
La Casa di Patty
on 87 reviews
At 300 meters of the church S. Maria Maggiore and near of Central Train Station "Termini" and so it is the ideal place to move easily in all directions. Three elegant rooms furnished all with private ...
From35 €
Biancagiulia Guest House
on 45 reviews
BB ROMA BIANCAGIULIA Guest House Via Principe Amedeo 149 Located in the center of Rome, in the colorful and multicultural district Esquilino, one of Rome's seven hills.The proximity to urban and ...
From27 €