Built on the site of a miraculous August snowfall, this major basilica dates from the early 5th century. The huge church is lined with Byzantine mosaics and contains many important relics.
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- Santa Maria Maggiore
- Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore
- 41.897574° N, 12.498464° E
- Date Published
- October 8, 2013
- Last Updated
- April 11, 2015
- August 4, 358
Miraculous Snowfall in Rome
According to a 13th-century legend, the Virgin Mary appears to Pope Liberius and the patrician Giovanni Patrizio in Rome, instructing them to build a church on the Esquiline Hill. That night, the floor plan is outlined by a miraculous snowfall. The church is named Santa Maria della Neve (St. Mary of the Snow) and later Santa Maria Liberiana after Pope Liberius...
Construction begins on Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome
On the summit of the Esquiline Hill in Rome, construction of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica begins on the site of a former temple to Cybele.
Completion of Santa Maria Maggiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome is completed under Pope Sixtus III (432-40). It is one of the first churches in the world to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Apse mosaic created by Jacopo Torriti at Santa Maria Maggiore
Under Pope Nicholas IV (1288-94), Jacopo Torriti creates the apse mosaic of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. The mosaic centers on the Coronation of the Virgin and includes Nicholas IV, Cardinal Jacopo Colonna, Saint Francis of Assisi, and other contemporary figures.
Facade mosaics added to Santa Maria Maggiore
Mosaics are created for the facade of Santa Maria Maggiore by Filippo Rusuti and his assistants.
Fontana creates Sistine Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore
Domenico Fontana creates the sumptuous Sistine Chapel for Pope Sixtus V in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome.
Ponzio creates the Borghese Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore
Flaminio Ponzio designs the Borghese Chapel for Pope Paul V in Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome.
Fuga creates Baroque facade of Santa Maria Maggiore
Ferdinando Fuga creates the present Baroque facade of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
Creation of brick campanile of Santa Maria Maggiore
The elegant brick campanile of Santa Maria Maggiore is given its present form.
- Blue Guide Rome, 10th ed.
- The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome: A Comprehensive Guide Includes details on all mosaics.