About Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) in Rome is a Patriarchal or ‘Papal’ Basilica and home to the famed Sistine Chapel. Originally built in the 5th century – from which time it still uniquely retains its structure – this ecclesiastical giant bears the works of many centuries. Whether it’s the baroque 18th century façade of Ferdinand Fuga, the Cosmatesque pavement gifted to the church in the 13th century or the fifth century triumphal arch and mosaics that still adorn it, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore offers the visitor a chance to see works of art and architecture from throughout its history.
One of the best known aspects of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is the Sistine Chapel, with its beautiful paintings. It was Pope Sixtus V who commissioned Domenico Fontana to create the chapel. Several popes are buried at Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, among them Sixtus V.
As well as viewing Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore itself, there is also a museum showcasing the site’s most important works.