Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Roma. Italia (Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. Italy)

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Caterina Amato

Narrated By: Clarissa Stefan

Publisher: Cities Heirs of Byzantium Non Profit Association ACEB

Date: March 2017

Duration: 0 hours 27 minutes


The audioguide tells the story, describes architecture and reports interesting facts about the largest Roman church dedicated to the Mother of God and founded between 432 and 440 by order of Pope Sixtus III.

This building also has a third name, dating back to the 7th century, which is that of "basilica of Santa Maria ad praesepem" because it holds the relic of the manger, traditionally considered the place where Jesus was born: manger tables, along with stones from the stall, some hay and bushes, transported from Bethlehem to Rome, are all relics kept in a precious glass teak, beneath the main altar. Once inside the basilica, we are faced with a magnificent spectacle of splendor and wealth. The wooden coffered ceiling was made by Giuliano da Sangallo, as a gift to Pope Alexander VI, part of the monarchs of Spain, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. It was gilded with the first gold imported from Peru.

In front of the Sistine Chapel is the tomb of Bernini. In the Borghese Chapel there are the funerary monuments of the popes Paolo V and Clement VIII. At the center of the chapel stands the icon of the "Salus Populi Romani" brought from Byzantium. It is attributed to San Luca's hand.

In this chapel there is a sacristy, to which the Capitular Room is adjacent. Below the chapel are the tombs of the Borghese family, including that of Paolina Bonaparte.
Adjacent to the Pauline Chapel we find the Sforza Chapel, probably of Michelangelo's design.

You can examine the 3D model of the church and observe its interior through the MuByz App. The audioguide has been made by professionals in the field of history and art.