Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Rome, Lazio, Italy

History Hit

24 Nov 2020

About Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) in Rome is a Patriarchal or ‘Papal’ Basilica and home to the famed Sistine Chapel. Originally built in the 5th century – from which time it still uniquely retains its structure – this ecclesiastical giant bears the works of many centuries. Whether it’s the baroque 18th century façade of Ferdinand Fuga, the Cosmatesque pavement gifted to the church in the 13th century or the fifth century triumphal arch and mosaics that still adorn it, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore offers the visitor a chance to see works of art and architecture from throughout its history.

One of the best known aspects of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is the Sistine Chapel, with its beautiful paintings. It was Pope Sixtus V who commissioned Domenico Fontana to create the chapel. Several popes are buried at Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, among them Sixtus V.

As well as viewing Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore itself, there is also a museum showcasing the site’s most important works.

Featured In

Italy Historic Sites

Discover the best Historic sites in Italy, from Ostia Antica to The Trevi Fountain and more, includes an interactive map of Italian cultural places, landmarks and monuments.

Roman Sites in Italy

Discover the top Roman ruins in Italy, from the famous Pantheon to the Aquileia Basilica and more, includes an interactive map of Ancient Roman sites to visit.

Rome Historic Sites

Discover the best historic places in Rome, from the Colosseum to the Capuchin Crypt and more, includes an interactive map of Rome's cultural landmarks, monuments and museums.