"Santa Maria Maggiore" Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore Tip by Frisbeeace

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome: 74 reviews and 182 photos

  Santa Maria Maggiore
by Frisbeeace

The legend tells that Pope Liberio dreamt of St. Mary and the Lady told him to build a church in the place where he would find snow. Next day, 5 August 352, it snowed exactly where the Basilica is located now, a true miracle! This is commemorated every year on that date when white rose petals are dropped from the dome.

The basilica is also known as Basilica Liberiana after the founder, and Santa Maria della Neve, Our Lady of the Snow, after the miracle; and as Santa Maria ad Praesepem after the relic of the crib (presepio).

Many people say that Santa Maria Maggiore is second in beauty after St. Peter's. The church built during the IV century shows different architectural styles, due to many remakings and restorations performed through its history. The bell tower is the highest in Rome with its 75 m. It is the greatest of many churches dedicated to Virgin Mary.

The gold leaf on the ceiling comes from the first gold brought back from America. The church houses what is supposed to be the original crib of Jesus, displayed every year at Christmas.

Phone: +39 06 6988 6800
Website: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/sm_maggiore/index_fr.html

Review Helpfulness: 2 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jun 16, 2003
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“There are 10 types of people. Those who understand binaries and those who don't”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 1 0 5 2

Have you been to Rome?

  Share Your Travels