Rome, otherwise known as the eternal city, is one of the richest centers in terms of cultural legacy, along with Paris. Almost everywhere in city we can see monuments which have been in the same place for several hundreds of years. In amongst all these monuments, Churches stand out as the most widely renowned, such as the Sistine Chapel, for example. Below is a list of these Roman Churches.:
St. Peter’s Basilica
This is THE sanctuary of the Christian religion. With a facade 45 meters high and its enormous 136 meter dome, St Pierre’s basilica is the biggest Church in the world, and offers a magnificent view over the public gardens bearing the same name, which were conceived by Bernini. Greatness and splendor are the first sensations received when going up the Via della Conciliazione towards Piazza San Pietro. One of the main oeuvres of art in the interior of the church is Michelangelo’s sculpture “Pieta”, which was created between 1498 and 1500.
The Sistine Chapel
The chapel owes its name to Sixtus IV, the pope who ordered the construction of the chapel at the end of the 14th Century. The chapel has been decorated by famous paintings from the 15th Century, such as those by Botticelli and the Ghirlandaio. Later, during the 16th Century, Michelangelo was summoned to paint all of the frescoes on the vaulted ceiling of the chapel: roughly 1000msq. He painted frescoes representing stories from the Bible, such as the stunning “Universal Judgement” which provoked a scandal due to the fact that the 400 figures within the fresco were nude. He also painted here the “Creation of Humanity”.
San Giovanni in Laterano
This is the Cathedral of Rome, and the second largest church after St. Peter’s Basilica. The original church was built in 314 A.D., when the Emperor Constantine gave the land over to the pope. The current building comprises the church, the baptistery, the Palazzo Lateranense, the Scala Santa and the hospital of San Giovanni.
This church is located in Via Ostiense and was founded in 330 A.D. However, it only reached completion during the 5th Century. The church was constructed under orders from Constantine, who wanted to commemorate Diacre Lorenzo- who became a martyr under Pope Sixtus II during the 3rd Centruy A.D.-with a magnificent tomb.
Santa Maria Maggiore
This church is located upon the Esquilino hill and it is the first Roman church to have been named after the Virgin Saint. It has the tallest clock tower in Rome, and according to historical sources it is the place where fragments of wood dating from Jesus’ crib have been preserved. This is why, during a particular epoch the church was called Santa Maria Ad Praesepe.
As you can imagine, visiting these churches requires a certain amount of time. This modern day metropolis wasn’t built in a single day, and nor should it be visited in a single day.