"Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano" Top 5 Page for this destination Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano Tip by MM212

Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome: 60 reviews and 142 photos

  Statues crowning the 18th c. fašade
by MM212
  • Statues crowning the 18th c. façade - Rome
      Statues crowning the 18th c. fašade
    by MM212
  • Baroque interior - Rome
      Baroque interior
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  • Interior - Rome
    by MM212
  • The 15th c. BC obelisk & side façade - Rome
      The 15th c. BC obelisk & side fašade
    by MM212
  • Façade by Alessandro Galilei - Rome
      Fašade by Alessandro Galilei
    by MM212

Rome's cathedral church, la Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is also the city's oldest. Its earliest foundation was built by Emperor Constantine in 312 AD on the site of a 1st century palace and a 2nd century barracks and dedicated to the Holy Saviour. In the following centuries, it was continually expanded and embellished, particularly after a damaging 9th century earthquake. Between the 10th and 12th centuries, Saints John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist were both added to the basilica's dedication. When the papacy was transferred to Avignon, the Basilica temporarily lost its importance and was damaged by two destructive fires. Upon the Pope's return to Rome in 1377, the papacy took up residence in the Vatican's current location where Saint Peter's was built. It was not until the 16th century, that the ruined Basilica was rebuilt under the orders of Pope Sixtus V, who also had the world's largest Egyptian obelisk placed in the piazza outside the Basilica. The 15th century BC obelisk had been brought to Rome from Karnak in 357 AD and placed in the centre of Circo Massimo. In the Basilica's reconstruction, some of the finest Baroque architects, such as Domenico Fontana, Francesco Borromini and Alessandro Galilei, worked over the following three centuries to bring it to the splendour we admire today. Although part of Rome, the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is considered a property of the Holy See and has special extraterritorial status.

Address: Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, 6
Phone: +39 06 6988 6433
Website: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_giovanni/index_it.htm

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 18, 2009
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