San Giovanni in Laterano | Attraction Guides | History Hit

About San Giovanni in Laterano

San Giovanni in Laterano, or Rome Cathedral, is a basilica known to many as the “cathedral of the world”, by virtue of the fact that it is the cathedral of Rome and thus the seat of the Pope.

Founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in the early fourth century, San Giovanni in Laterano was dedicated to John the Evangelist and John the Baptist.

The current structure mostly dates to the late sixteenth century, the cloisters to the thirteenth century and its façade is an eighteenth century creation. In fact, San Giovanni in Laterano was rebuilt several times over the centuries including a controversial redecoration during the papacy of Innocent X which obscured many original frescoes.