/ / Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: photo description (Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore)

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: photo description (Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore)

The first Church building, which preceded the modern building of the Basilica was built in the IV century on the hill Esquiline. This Church was called Santa Maria della Neve slip (from ital. neve - "snow"). There is a legend that before planting Church in the summer of 352 year the snow fell suddenly and Pope Liberius drew on the snow around the perimeter of the future Church. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was completely rebuilt in 432-440 years by Pope Sixtus III on the eve of Ephesus Cathedral. In this form, the Basilica stood until the XIII century, until, while under Pope Eugene III was not built the portico in front of the main entrance to the Church. At the end of the same century when Pope Nicholas IV was updated apse, and in the eighteenth century when Clement's was demolished the portico, and the facade acquired the form of what Basil has to this day. The architect of this project was Ferdinando Fuga.

The facade of the Basilica is sandwiched by two high palaces, Dating from the XVII and XVIII centuries. Wide stairs lead to the portico with an architrave, surmounted by a loggia with arches. The facade is crowned by a balustrade, and passing over the neighboring palaces, as if bringing together the entire complex. The facade and portico are richly decorated with sculpture, as in the loggia of the upper floor still contains the mosaic of the XIII century with the facade of the former Church.

The interior is a three-aisled basilican plan with forty ionic columns. Painted high ceiling attributed to Giuliano Sangallo. It is believed that the rich decoration of the ceiling was made of gold, first brought here from America and donated to the Basilica of the kings of Spain, who was a generous patron of the Church.