Basilica Of St John Lateran Rome
The Sacrosanta Cattedrale Papale Arcibasilica Romana Maggiore del Santissimo Salvatore e dei Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista al Laterano, this is the full name of the basilica, is the church in Rome directly governed by Pope Francis, although he does not actually preside over it personally, but through a cardinal delegate.
Where it is located
The Basilica is located in the heart of ancient Rome, in the famous Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, a well-known landmark for left-wing political demonstrations and the famous May Day concert.
Entering the Basilica of St John Lateran, you should know that you are about to step on the ground of the oldest and most important basilica in the western world. Built during the fourth century, it was consecrated by Pope Sylvester Iin the year 324 AD.
However, the Basilica as you can admire it today is the result of successive architectural interventions over the centuries.
The main façade was built in 1732, designed by architect Alessandro Galilei. The top of the façade is dominated by a marble group dominated by a Christ with the cross, surrounded by some holy bishops of the Eastern and Western Churches. Also worth noting is the impressive mosaic already present in the early Christian basilica, depicting the figure of Jesus.
Inside, the basilica has five naves. Looking up from the nave, you can admire the coffered ceiling. In the pillars that accompany the nave to the altar, there are niches where you can admire the statues of the twelve Apostles. L'apse that you can admire today dates back to the 19th century and was commissioned by Pope Leo XIII, who had the previous one destroyed.
The vault features a majestic mosaic depicting the Virgin accompanied by several saints, including St Francis of Assisi.
The mysteries of the basilica
The basilica houses the tomb of Pope Sylvester II, successor in medieval times to Pope Sylvester I, whom we have mentioned. It is said that the tomb oozed water when the death of a pope was approaching. Only much later was the mystery solved, which is said to be due to the still intact presence of the Pope's body.
If you want to visit the basilica calmly and relax in a B&B in Rome after the exertions of the day then take advantage of the offers of the Aurelia GArden Gold B&B.