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Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere (Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere)

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Since the facade of the church is so large, it's noticeable the 4 statues of saints. Gold mosaic of the Virgin Mary holding the Christ may be seen well. The frescoes beneath have unfortunately faded colors.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
The square in front of the church has a fountain in the middle. Many people are chatting or enjoying a view sitting on the stairs. Here is a place where people can relax. On sunny days, it becomes full of bustle with people and performers.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Inner part of the portico was added in the 18th century and has paintings hanging. From inside the portico, there is the entrance to the church. Since the church keeps the 12th century's building, the part of the portico columns and hallways would give you the freshness compared to other parts. Colors are different.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
One of the most interesting places of the church, the mosaic of the apse. From the upper side, there are painted "Christ and the Virgin" then Christ with sheep as symbols of 12 apostles. And beneath there are 5 scenes of the "Life of the Virgin Mary". It's a work of great quality.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Up of the "Christ and the Virgin". Coronation of the Virgin. Mary wearing a crown on the throne and Christ were observed by the saints. The semi sphere ceiling is decorated totally gold. It's a large opera with a great impact.

Recommend: 5 stars

The Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of my favorite churches in Rome. The reason is its long history and beautiful mosaics shining through the years. This church is the oldest in Rome and devoted to the Virgin Mary. Therefore, you can feel its feminine elegance. On the facade and inside there are great elaborated frescoes and mosaics, especially the high quality of the mosaics is quite impressive.

The oldest historic church built in Rome

The Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is the oldest historic church in Rome with original beautiful mosaics. Talking about its years old, its construction dates back four centuries. In 313, Constantine had officially recognized Christianity after a long period of persecution. After this "Edict of Milan", this oldest church in Rome had been built. There had been a big improvement in the 9th century, rebuilding in the 12th century and also during 16-18 centuries this church was partially restored. However, the actual figure is keeping the reconstruction of 12th century.

Its facade has beautiful mosaics made more than 700 years ago

Under the roof of the facade, there is a great mosaic representing the Virgin Mary holding Christ surrounded by 10 saints with lamps. This mosaic is of the 13th century and is remaining clean while being repaired more than 700 years. Even though its situation where it's exposed to wind and rain. Although the color of frescoes has been fading away, the figures of palm trees and ships can be seen. These pictorial decorations make this church special. If you look it from a short distance away, you can find a shining golden mosaic. You would feel as if you would go back to the past of many centuries ago. There are statues of the 4 popes who are sleeping here.

In front of the church, there is a square with fountain for relaxation of people

The square is situated in front of the church in Trastevere. It's also easy to recognize. The name of the square is the same as the church. Around the square, there are bars, restaurants, and bookstores. There is a fountain in the center and several people are chatting or resting there. In the morning, there are not so many people, but in the evening this square becomes crowded with people having dinner and taking a walk. Saturday nights in the summer there are performers in front of the square. Some of those performers are really great, so it would be worth to see their shows if you have a time.

The apse has great golden mosaics

The exceptionally eye-catching decoration inside the church would be the mosaics of the front apse. This 12th-century mosaic has the overwhelming presence of the Byzantine style. It's the "Madonna with the Christ (Virgin Mary and Christ)" with saints. Upper side of Christ there is a figure of the "Hand of God". Christ and Mary are sitting together in one chair, and wearing gold and blue clothes. The bright golden background is beautifully finished and breathtaking. The figure in the left, which has a small shrine in the arm is considered as Pope Innocent II, who had rebuilt here in the 12th century. The lower side you can see one sheep with crown on the head. It's a symbol of Christ. There are also 12 sheep as the 12 apostles.

This church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and she is the theme of whole art and architecture works

Below the sheep, there are mosaics by Pietro Cavallini in the 13th century, the "Life of the Virgin Mary". There are six scenes of her life, starting the birth of Mary from the left, following the annunciation, the birth of Christ, the worship of the Magi, and finally the death of Maria. It would be more fun if you know the story before. The shining apse is really beautiful. The Apse with mosaics is distanced. It's also hard to keep looking up to high. I brought a small opera glasses to see mosaics meticulously. When you go for walk, please bring a small opera glasses in your pocket. Then you can enjoy these wonderful mosaic works.

Name Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Address Via di San Calisto, 00153 Rome, Italy
How to reach Take a tram number 8, bus H or bus number 170. Get off at the Piazza Sidney Sonnino. It's 7 minutes walk.
Opening Hours 8:00-12:30 / 16:00-19:30
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