Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome

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Piazza S. Maria in Trastevere

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  • back left ceilings of basilica Sta Maria
    back left ceilings of basilica Sta Maria
    by gwened
  • arr basilica Sta Maria in trasteverde
    arr basilica Sta Maria in trasteverde
    by gwened
  • back ceilings of the basilica Sta Maria
    back ceilings of the basilica Sta Maria
    by gwened
  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    All that glitters

    by goodfish Updated Feb 6, 2014

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    Another gorgeous church and one more St Mary's, this gem is one of the oldest Christian churches in Rome, and possibly the first of them in which mass was celebrated. Technically it dates to the 4th century but most of what you see is from a 12th-century Medieval overhaul.

    It has a few relics (the head of St. Apollonia and a bit of Holy Sponge - whatever that is), the tombs of two Popes (Callixtus I and Innocent II) and a few Cardinals but this Santa Maria's most famous treasures are her magnificent mosaics. The apse of the basilica literally glows with radiant, gilded 12th and 13th-century depictions of the life of St. Mary and her coronation; beautiful and well worth crossing the river for. On the exterior facade, and from the same period, are a series of faded mosaics which also honor the Virgin.

    Entrance is free; visiting info:
    http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/luoghi-di-culto-di-interesse-storico-artistico/chiese-cattoliche/santa-maria-in-trastevere.html

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Basilica Santa Maria in Trasteverde

    by gwened Written Aug 26, 2013
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    This is a wonderful church in a wonderful district of Trasteverde. THe area is lively at night but sirene during daytime and a visit to the basilica is in order, recommended.

    I am terrible for descriptions but it is very nice with lots of history of the area, and my family enjoy walking into and seeing the wonderful decorations. I leave you with some official description that better explain what you are about to see

    Church of St. Mary in Trastevere was built in the 12th century under Innocent II (1130-1143). Its foundations rest on the ruins of a Christian basilica of the 3rd century, perhaps the oldest in Rome. It has three naves.The facade presents a mosaic of the 12th century of the Virgin with child, surrounded by Saints. The portico with statues of saints was built at the beginning of the 18th century.Its beautiful bell tower is Romanesque.Inside, two rows of Ionian columns frame the nave.The mosaics of the choir are the masterpiece of the Church. You can still feel the byzantine influence, stiff and hieratic, in these pavements detailing scenes from the Gospel. It also is out Innocent II with a model of the Church.

    The mosaics of the lower register are Pietro Cavallini (1250-1340). They tell in a fine style of the scenes from the life of the Virgin. The style of this work differs from the previous one, introducing effects of perspective, a novelty at the time.Before the chorus, the marble candelabra indicates the location of the source of oil that would have sprung there the day of the birth of Christ.

    a marvel to be seen.

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  • anilpradhanshillong's Profile Photo

    10-Santa Maria in Trasteve-04-Facade

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Oct 7, 2012

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    On the facade, on the top, are four huge statues and behind them, on the tympanum, a beautiful mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child. On either side are 5 female figures, each holding a pot with a red flame leaping out from some of them, like a sort of lantern. This is a representation of the well-know parable of Christ regarding the 10 bridesmaids awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom, mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew 25:1-13. The allegory is to the state of preparedness for the Final Reckoning, the Day of Judgement.

    First Written: Oct. 10, 2012

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    10-Santa Maria in Trasteve-03-Interior

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Oct 7, 2012

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    The interior of this church, more than that of any other church in the city represents the splendour of ancient Rome. On the right side of the altar there is a Cosmati ("elaborate inlays of small triangles and rectangles of coloured stones and glass mosaics set into stone matrices or encrusted upon stone surfaces") column bearing the inscription, 'FONS OLEI'. This marks the spot of the oil flow miracle. A rich mosaic of Jesus, Mary and the disciples, with a herd of sheep at the bottom, fills the apse. This dates from around 1140 AD. The six mosaic panels between the windows were done by Pietro Cavallini in 1291 AD. Domenichino’s ‘Assumption of the Virgin' fresco, as well as his gilded ceiling (1617), are equally ornate and marvellous. Also, the church keeps the head of Saint Apollonia as a relic and a portion of the Holy Sponge. Pope Callixtus I and Lorenzo Cardinal Campeggio also lie buried inside the church.

    First Written: Oct. 10, 2012

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  • anilpradhanshillong's Profile Photo

    10-Santa Maria in Trasteve-02-Floor

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Oct 7, 2012

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    Of particular interest are the intricate mosaics that make up the floor of this church. Some of these are fragments for the earlier churches on the same site and date from the 4th to the 9th centuries. They were excavated from beneath the 12th century floor of the church. The designs are riveting, the workmanship exquisite, the colours elegant.

    First Written: Oct. 10, 2012

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    10-Santa Maria in Trasteve-01-Intro

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Oct 7, 2012

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    The easiest way to reach one of the oldest churches in Rome, the Santa Maria in Trastevere, is to take Tram # 8 and get off at the Trastevere Mastai (Piazza Mastai, viale di Trastevere) stop. If you are coming from Largo Argentina side, this unique church will be to your right. A few minutes' walk and you will be in Piazza Santa Maria, looking at a large fountain built by Carlo Fontana (c. 1634-1714) and a little beyond, the beautiful 16th. century-style building.

    It is reputed to be the first church to celebrate a public mass in Rome and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Legend has it that an oil-like liquid spurted at this site, either 38 years before the birth of Christ or on the day of His birth. This prompted Pope Callisto I (c. 217 AD to c. 222 AD) to build a church here. Near the altar, a step leading to the area reserved for the clergy now marks that spot. Pope Julius I (337 AD-352 AD) developed the church further. During the time of Pope Gregory IV (827 AD-844 AD), the church was used as a sanctuary owing to the incursions of the Arabs, Turks and others who professed the faith of Islam. It was left to Pope Innocent II (1130 AD-1143 AD), who was from the Trastevere locality, to rebuild the church using, amongst other material, 22 well-preserved columns cannibalised from the Roman Baths of Caracalla. The architect, Carlo Fontana, effected major modifications to the portico and to the general appearance of the church. Fortunately, he left the Romanic bell tower and the mosaic of the Madonna and Child, on top of the church, intact.

    This church also substituted for St Paul's Outside the Walls - one of the four ancient papal basilicas - when devotees could not pray in the basilica owing to an outbreak of epidemics in ancient Rome and a devastating fire in the basilica in 1825 AD. On the north side of the piazza, there is a street called, Via delle Fonte dell ‘Olio, in memory of the oil miracle.

    The central square is now a hub of eating joints, shops and a convenient meeting place for locals as well as for tourists. Handicrafts and clothing boutiques make it another reason to hang out in this area during the day or late in the evening, especially after the facade of the church is lit up.

    First Written: Oct. 08, 2012

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Scala Sancta

    by aukahkay Written Oct 12, 2009

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    The Scala Sancta (Holy Staircase) is thought to be the same flight of steps which Jesus ascended in the house of Pontius Pilate. It was brought to Rome from Jerusalem by Empress Helena. The staircase has 28 marble steps, recovered with wood for protection, while small glass sheets cover some spots that are considred to be a trail of Christ's blood. Pilgrims climb on their knees up the stairs to reach the Sanca Sanctorum at the top of the staircase.

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Santa Maria in Trastevere

    by aukahkay Written Oct 11, 2009

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    Santa maria in Trastevere is Rome's oldest basilica. Founded in AD 221, it was rebuilt in the 12th century by Pope Innocent II. Beside the facade is the lovely 12th century Romanesque campinile at the top of which is a niche with a mosaic representing a Madonna and Child.

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  • Mmasarech's Profile Photo

    A Gem Not to Be Missed

    by Mmasarech Written Feb 21, 2009

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    Santa Maria Basillica from the outside

    The church of Santa Maria in Trastevere was my favorite sight -- and it's free! The church dates back to the 4th century. It is lovely inside. And it's small and quiet... a much more moving experience than the Sistine Chapel in my opinion. You can sit and check out the intricate frescos/artwork of the Altemps Chapel (from the 16th century .... to the left of the alter), light a candle for the dearly departed... and check out their small but rather classy gift shop. Our daughters appreciated it as well. They didn't have to slog through endless corridors. It was a digestible moment.

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  • Julius_Caesar's Profile Photo

    S.Maria in Trastevere church

    by Julius_Caesar Written Apr 10, 2005

    Probably the first official Christian place of worship to be built in Rome, this church became the focus of devotion to the Virgin Mary. Today’s church is largely a 12th century building, remarkable for its mosaics, in particular those by Pietro Cavallini.

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  • Frisbeeace's Profile Photo

    Santa Maria in Trastevere

    by Frisbeeace Written Jun 16, 2003
    Santa Maria in Trastevere

    The church of Santa Maria in Trastevere was built in the 12th century. Its fa?ade mosaics stand over the 18th century portico by Carlo Fontana. Inside are more 12th century mosaics including a cycle depicting the life of the Virgin added by Cavallini in 1291.

    It is located in the square of the same name, a nice place to relax, watch people and enjoy a gellato.

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