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Aerial view of Rome
Written by Alex on April 28, 2020 Share on

The Best Churches In Rome Which Will Make Your Jaws Drop!

Churches in Rome are one of the major attractions in the city. Being a perpetually catholic city, It has numerous churches spread throughout the nooks and corners of it. Besides providing a religious experience, these churches also attract Non-Catholics from all over the world for its architecture and the treasure of arts they possess. You can witness the great mosaic art, fresco painting, and stonework of medieval artists Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, Caravaggio, Sansovino, Filippo Lipp and many more. Rome has more than 900 churches and each of them is incredible in its own way. To make things easier for you, we have put together a list of the best churches in Rome.

5. The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

This Basilica, also known as St. Mary Major, is one of the largest churches in Rome devoted to the Virgin Mary. The church is filled with artefacts and arts of historic importance. The church has a long history starting in the fifth century. 36 scenes from the Old Testament can be seen portrayed in the mosaics on the triumphal arch above the main altar along with those on the centre walls. There is a special celebration happening every year here where they drop down thousands of white petals from the ceiling. It is described as the Miracle of the Snows celebration. It memorialises the legend of a miraculous summer snowfall.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Photo by Fabio Sangregorio on Unsplash

4. St. Peter’s Basilica

The St. Peter’s Basilica is not only the most famous church in Rome but also one of the most popular churches all over the world. The basilica is 2000 year old and it is where most of the Catholic Church’s crucial ceremonies take place. The popular belief is that Peter the Apostle, the first pope, was crucified here. There are also many connecting chapels and a museum here. The interiors of this place are so wonderful and artistic. These interiors were the designs of famous Renaissance artists including Michelangelo Buonarroti. The whole construction of this basilica took more than 150 years to complete.

The inside view of the St. Peter Basilica
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

3. Basilica of Santa Maria Del Popolo

This spectacular church is a wonderful piece of art and beauty. It possesses the works of the best Renaissance artists including Pinturicchio, Raphael, Bernini and Caravaggio. The church has seven chapels in total. The story behind the construction of this church is quite unusual and interesting. During the very end of the 11th century, people of Rome believed that the ghost of Nero haunted the region near the North gate. The existence of wicked-looking crows, sitting on a tree, fuelled the belief fo those people. The tree was cut down and the church was built there to dispel the fear in the minds of people.

The Dome of Santa Maria Del Popolo, one of the best churches in Rome
Image by 272447 from Pixabay

2. San Giovanni in Laterano

St. Peter’s Basilica is not the official cathedral as many people believe it to be. The official cathedral of Rome is St. John Lateran and is the seat of the bishop of Rome, the Pope. It is one of the four major basilicas in Rome. The church is dedicated to John The Baptist. It is also the oldest catholic church in Rome.  Very little remains of the original church due to the fires, vandals and earthquakes over the centuries. It now has a more Ornate style with 16th- and 17th-century restoration. The columns, mosaics and sculptures enrich every inch of the church. The church is now one of the oldest surviving Christian structures in Rome and a main Roman pilgrimage church.

The inside of San Giovanni in Laterano
Image credits: Flikr.com

1. Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

The Santa Maria Sopra Minerva got its name from the fact that it lies upon the ruins of a temple for Minerva, the ancient goddess of wisdom. The basilica website actually states that the church rests over the remains of three ancient Roman temple. The temples were for the Roman goddess Minerva, the Egyptian goddess Isis and the Greco-Egyptian god Serapis. The architecture is the main highlight of the church and attracts pilgrims from all over the world. It is one of the few Gothic churches in Rome and one of the most attractive ones. The Dominicans assembled the church in the 13th Century.

The front view of the altar in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, one of the best churches in Rome
Photo by Sergei Wing on Unsplash

Apart from all these wonderful pieces of art, there are several amazing churches such as the Basilica of San Clemente, San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, Santa Maria in Trastevere and much more. The churches in Rome are as fascinating as the city and really is a mix of elegance and tradition. Give yourself a break and plan a vacation to the eternal city. Here at Pickyourtrail, we are always happy to help you with planning your vacation and you can also see the available packages to Rome here

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