Rome, Italy

Basilica of Santa Maria

in Trastevere

If there is one thing we can say without a shadow of a doubt, it is that religion has greatly helped the development of art and architecture since the dawn of mankind.

If we notice, in fact, most of the artistic productions of all time have been commissioned by the various cults present in the world.

This reasoning also (and above all) applies to Rome where the Vatican City is hosted, i.e. the very small nation where the Pope, the head of the world Catholic religion, lives.

But sacred art and architecture in Rome are not only in the Vatican, but also in the various districts of the city including Trastevere.

In this article we will talk about the most important place of worship in the aforementioned rione: the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Two words about the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere

As we have said in the previous lines, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is the most important Catholic church in the Trastevere district of Rome and this is because it is the parish seat of the district.

It is located in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere and has a very interesting history which we will talk about in the next lines.

The history of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere

As previously mentioned, the history of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is very interesting and seems to be based on a miracle.

History, in fact, tells us that the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere was conceived and founded by Pope Callisto I and built on land from which oil spilled many centuries ago.

The construction of the Basilica that we see today lasted several centuries because, as often happens with architectural works, the structure was often modified and enriched with different parts.

According to historical sources, the last works to which the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere was subjected date back to the end of 1800 and were restorations commissioned by Pope Pius IX.

Why visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere?

After the introduction and brief description, we are sure that many of you will have asked yourself the aforementioned question.

Yes, right: why should you visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere?

The answer is very simple: this Basilica is simply a spectacle and a marvel of architecture.

We see the beauty of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere as soon as we arrive in its square and admire its exterior, especially the magnificent 13th century mosaic that gives us a sense of richness thanks to its gold-colored tiles.

We also find this opulence inside, among its aisles surrounded by Ionic and Corinthian columns where we will find the touches of the various restorations and additional works to which the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere has been subjected over the years.

Here you will see frescoes and works of all kinds, but also works of funerary art, as the popes Julius I, San Callisto and Innocenzo II rest inside the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

But what really struck us in the interior of this Basilica are the mosaics of the presbytery, mainly that of the Madonna and Christ on the same throne.
According to the interpretations, this mosaic refers to the procession that was held in the Middle Ages during the night of the Assumption, but it is not its history that fascinated us, but its wealth that is not given solely by the abundant use of gold, but also by the huge number of details that have been placed in this mosaic: they are so many and so fascinating that the human eye finds new ones every time.

How to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere?

When entering a place of worship, first of all, respect must be given.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your religious beliefs are: you can be young or old, but when you enter a church you must have respect for what that place represents.

This is the first step to take to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Once this is done, you must know that the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is open to everyone and it is not necessary to book a visit or pay an entrance ticket: anyone can enter freely at no cost (although leaving even a single euro as a donation would not be a bad idea because you will help the parish manage its costs and promote its charitable initiatives).

Respect its schedule, though. The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, in fact, follows the following times:

  • From Monday to Thursday: from 7:30 to 20:30
  • Friday: from 9:00 to 20:30
  • Saturday and Sunday: from 7:30 to 20:00
  • August: It closes briefly from 13:00 to 15:30

Finally, remember that the Basilica in question is a place of worship where religious ceremonies take place, so avoid paying a visit in those moments.

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Home > Roma > Churches > Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere

Santa Maria in Trastevere