Basilica of St. John Lateran

The Basilica of St. John Lateran or Cathedral of Rome is the most important of the four great papal basilicas and the oldest and most important basilica in the West. The basilica was founded in the 4th century by the Roman Laterani family. The basilica has been damaged many times by sackings (410, 455), earthquakes (896, 1349), fires (1306, 1361), but always restored. Although some parts of the building bear witness to the old basilica, such as the magnificent Romanesque cloister and the ceiling, most of the present building is the result of a major remodelling in the 17th century. The nave and the interior design are the work of the architect Francesco Borromini. The monumental exterior façade was built in travertine in 1734 by the architect Alessandro Galilei. He was clearly inspired by the façade of St. Peter's in Rome.

About this building

Key Features

  • Architecture
  • Monuments
  • Interior features
  • Links to national heritage
  • Famous people or stories

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Café within 500m

Other nearby buildings

Wikimedia Commons/MM

Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo al Celio

The Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo al Celio was founded by Pope Simplicius between 468 and 483 and is dedicated to Saint Stephen, a martyr whose body had been found a few decades earlier in the Holy Land and transported to Rome. The church was embellished by Popes John I and Felix IV in the 6th century. In 1130, Innocent II added three transverse arches to support the dome. In 1454, Pope Nicholas V entrusted the ruined church to the care of the Hungarian Pauline Fathers. The church was restored by Bernardo Rossellino. In 1579, the Hungarian Jesuits took over from the Pauline Fathers.

Wikimedia Commons/Dudva

Basilica of San Clemente

The present Basilica of San Clemente was built in the 12th century as part of a Dominican convent. An old basilica existed there but it is assumed that its state must have been ruinous at the time of its demolition. Numerous subsequent interventions modified its internal and external appearance; the present appearance was finally defined during an important restoration carried out between 1713 and 1719, commissioned by Pope Clemente XI and carried out by the architect Carlo Stefano Fontana.

Wikimedia Commons/LPLT

Church of Santa Maria in Domnica

A first church was built here in antiquity, mentioned in the acts of the synod of Pope Simmaco in 499. Pope Paschal I (817-824) had the basilica rebuilt in 818-822, endowing it with mosaics. The appearance of the present church of Santa Maria in Domnica, however, owes much to a reconstruction in the 16th century, when the church was closely linked to the Medici family.