Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest Marian church in Rome

Saturday, 6 September 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Frontside © JEK/cc-by-sa-3.0

Frontside © JEK/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (English: Basilica of Saint Mary Major), or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome. Other churches in Rome dedicated to Mary include Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, and Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but the greater size of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major justifies the adjective by which it is distinguished from the other 25.

According to the 1929 Lateran Treaty, the basilica located in Italian territory is owned by the Holy See and enjoys extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies. The building is patrolled internally by police agents of Vatican City State, not by Italian police. It is located on Piazza del Esquilino, number 34, some five blocks southwest of the Stazione Termini.

Backside © Sixtus/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © tango7174/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ceiling © MatthiasKabel/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Borghese Chapel © Ricardo André Frantz/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © Karelj Interior Panorama © Till Niermann/cc-by-sa-3.0 Frontside © JEK/cc-by-sa-3.0
<
>
The Borghese Chapel © Ricardo André Frantz/cc-by-sa-3.0
The church is sometimes referred to as Our Lady of the Snows, a name given to it in the Roman Missal from 1568 to 1969 in connection with the liturgical feast of the anniversary of its dedication on 5 August, a feast that was then denominated Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Nives (Dedication of Saint Mary of the Snows). This name for the basilica had become popular in the 14th century in connection with a legend that the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia reports thus: “During the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to the Virgin Mary. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honour. On 5 August, at the height of the Roman summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. In obedience to a vision of the Virgin Mary which they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honour of Mary on the very spot which was covered with snow. From the fact that no mention whatever is made of this alleged miracle until a few hundred years later, not even by Sixtus III in his eight-line dedicatory inscription … it would seem that the legend has no historical basis.”

The original architecture of Santa Maria Maggiore was classical and traditionally Roman perhaps to convey the idea that Santa Maria Maggiore represented old imperial Rome as well as its Christian future. As one scholar puts it, “Santa Maria Maggiore so closely resembles a second-century imperial basilica that it has sometimes been thought to have been adapted from a basilica for use as a Christian church. Its plan was based on Hellenistic principles stated by Vitruvius at the time of Augustus.” Even though Santa Maria Maggiore is immense in its area, it was built to plan. The design of the basilica was a typical one during this time in Rome: “a tall and wide nave; an aisle on either side; and a semicircular apse at the end of the nave.” The key aspect that made Santa Maria Maggiore such a significant cornerstone in church building during the early 5th century were the beautiful mosaics found on the triumphal arch and nave.

Read more on Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Wikipedia Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Theme Week County Cork - Mallow

Theme Week County Cork - Mallow

[caption id="attachment_223836" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © RuthAS/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Mallow (Irish: >Mala or Magh Eala) is a town in County Cork, Ireland, approximately thirty-five kilometres north of Cork. Mallow is in the barony of Fermoy. It is the administrative centre of north County Cork, and the Northern Divisional Offices of Cork County Council are located in the town. Mallow is part of the Cork East Dáil constituency. Mallow lies on the River Blackwater, and developed as a defensive settlement...

[ read more ]

Bad Münstereifel - City Outlet

Bad Münstereifel - City Outlet

[caption id="attachment_209753" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © panoramio.com - Jan Uyttebroeck/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Bad Münstereifel is a historical spa town in the district of Euskirchen with about 17,000 inhabitants, situated in the far southeast of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The little town is one of only few historical towns in the southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia, and because of this is often overcrowded by tourists throughout Spring and Summer. Bad Münstereifel lies abou...

[ read more ]

Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden

Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden

[caption id="attachment_192706" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © panoramio.com - Baden de/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa is a five star hotel belonging to the Oetker Hotel Management Company Brenners Park-Hotel GmbH on the Lichtentaler Allee in Baden-Baden. Run by the Oetker Collection brand, the hotel is one of the Leading Hotels of the World. In 1834, the history of the hotel began under the name Stephanienbad. The name was a homage to Princess Stephanie of Baden, adoptive daughter of ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Miami - Coconut Grove

Theme Week Miami - Coconut Grove

[caption id="attachment_164436" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Former Pan American Seaplane Base and Terminal Building, now Miami's city hall © Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Coconut Grove is the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami-Dade County in Florida. The neighborhood is roughly bound by North Prospect Drive to the south, LeJeune Road to the west, South Dixie Highway (US 1) and Rickenbacker Causeway to the north, and Biscayne Bay to the east. It is south of the neighborhoods of Bric...

[ read more ]

Academy of Arts in Berlin

Academy of Arts in Berlin

[caption id="attachment_165477" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © De-okin/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Academy of Arts (German: Akademie der Künste) is a state arts institution in Berlin. The task of the Academy is to promote art, as well as to advise and support the states of Germany. The Academy's predecessor organization was founded in 1696 by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg as the Prussian Academy of Arts, an academic institution in which members could meet and discuss and share ideas. The current Acade...

[ read more ]

Theme Week County Cork - Glengarriff

Theme Week County Cork - Glengarriff

[caption id="attachment_223848" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Glengarriff (Irish: Gleann Garbh, meaning 'rough glen') is a village of approximately 140 people on the N71 national secondary road in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland. Known internationally as a tourism venue, it has a number of natural attractions. It sits at the northern head of Glengarriff Bay, a smaller enclave of Bantry Bay. Located 20 km (~12 miles) west of Bantry, and 30 km (~18 mile...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Ibiza - Sant Antoni de Portmany

Theme Week Ibiza - Sant Antoni de Portmany

[caption id="attachment_152184" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Sant Antoni Bay © JanManu/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Sant Antoni de Portmany (Spanish: San Antonio Abad) or San Antonio is a town on the western coast of Ibiza. It is the second-largest town and municipality in Ibiza; an island described by Time Out magazine as "arguably the clubbing capital of the universe". For two thousand years, Sant Antoni was a small fishing village that rose from the Roman natural harbor Portus Magnus, but it began to grow in th...

[ read more ]

Federal Constitutional Court

Federal Constitutional Court

[caption id="attachment_165117" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Dr. Ronald Kunze/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Federal Constitutional Court (German: Bundesverfassungsgericht; abbreviated: BVerfG) is the supreme constitutional court for the Federal Republic of Germany, established by the constitution or Basic Law (Grundgesetz) of Germany. Since its inception with the beginning of the post-WW2 republic, the court has been located in the city of Karlsruhe—intentionally distanced from the other federal institutions i...

[ read more ]

Compiègne on river Oise

Compiègne on river Oise

[caption id="attachment_153166" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Compiègne Palace © flickr.com - Yusi Barclay![/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Compiègne is a city in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune within the département of Oise. The city is located along the Oise River. Its inhabitants are called Compiégnois. Compiègne is home to the University of Technology of Compiègne (UTC), an engineering school founded in the mid-1970s to provide an alternative to the traditional "grandes écoles" for st...

[ read more ]

Stanley Park in Vancouver

Stanley Park in Vancouver

[caption id="attachment_165731" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Vancouver Rowing Club © Daderot[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Stanley Park is a 405-hectare (1,001-acre) public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver in Canada and is almost entirely surrounded by waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. The park has a long history and was one of the first areas to be explored in the city. The land was originally used by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before British Columbia was colonized by the British during th...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Narva Castle on the left, Ivangorod Castle on the right. Narva river is the border between Estonia and Russia © LHOON/cc-by-sa-3.0
Narva, the easternmost city of Estonia

Narva is the third largest city in Estonia. It is located at the eastern extreme point of Estonia, by the...

© Christian Ferrer/cc-by-sa-3.0
Pézenas in the Hérault department

Pézenas is a commune in the Hérault department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. "Pézenas" is derived from the...

Macy's plaque at Herald Square, New York © Wikijazz/cc-by-sa-3.0
Macy’s

Macy's, originally R. H. Macy & Co., is a mid-range to upscale chain of department stores owned by American multinational...

Close