Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

The Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome and the largest Roman Catholic Marian church in Rome. There are also 25 other churches dedicated to Mary in Rome, but this Basilica stands out from the other due to its size. It is also known as Santa Maria ad Nives (of the snow), this name comes from the story that Pope Liberio, in 356, saw the Virgin Mary come to him in his dream through the snow and she showed him where he should build the church. He ordered the construction of the church but the actual Basilica was built under Sisto III and it was dedicated to Mary in 431. The bell tower, which stands 75 metres tall, is the tallest in Rome and dates back to 1300. In 1500 side chapels were added.

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