Appreciation of sacral architecture is included in every trip to Rome. This remarkable Italian city is home to more than 900 churches!

Apart from must-see spots such as The Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, it’s worth exploring other temples. Which ones? We present you a short list of remarkable churches in Rome you have to visit.

  1. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major is one of the most famous churches in Rome for several reasons. It is:

  • the biggest Catholic Marian church in the city (Marian churches are dedicated to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary);
  • one of four papal basilicas on Esquiline Hill;
  • one of the oldest Romanian churches, built around 440.
  • a mixture of different ages and styles.

The building is truly breathtaking and inside, you’ll be amazed by the eclectic character of the temple – different centuries and styles smoothly intersperse.

  1. Arcibasilica of San Giovanni in Laterano

Another one of the most famous churches in Rome is dedicated to Saint John from the Laterni family. It’s the oldest basilica in the West and the oldest public church in Rome!

It was erected in the 4th and restyled in the 17th century by Francesco Borromini – a leading architect of Roman Baroque. Every Maundy Thursday, the pope serves the mass here. The temple is filled with incredibly decorative sculptures, mosaics, columns, and frescoes.

  1. Basilica of San Clemente

Only half a kilometer away from the Colosseum, you’ll find a true archeological treasure. The first “layer” of what you can see today as the St. Clement’s Basilica was built in the 1st century as a pagan temple. Then in the 4th century, another floor was added and finally, in the 12th century, covered with the basilica we can see from the outside nowadays.

Therefore, the three-level building entails three completely different sites with artifacts, such as Byzantine mosaics, which illustrate 2000 years of the temple’s (and Rome’s) history.

  1. Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva

Nearby the Pantheon, you’ll come across the church built on the ruins of the ancient temple of the Greco-Roman goddess, Minerva (sopra means over). The basilica was constructed in the 14th century by Dominicans. Its gothic architecture distinguishes the church from Baroque temples, scattered all over the city.

What you can’t miss here is the marble Risen Christ by Michelangelo, the graves of Catherina of Siena, Pope Leo X, and Clemens VII, 15th-century frescoes in the Carafa Chapel, and the mesmerizing cobalt vaulted ceiling.

  1. Basilica of Santa Maria Del Popolo

Don’t be misled by the inconspicuous exterior of the temple that stands on one of the most famous squares in Rome. Inside the renaissance Basilica of Santa Maria Del Popolo, you’ll be overwhelmed by the collection of art by such figures as Caravaggio, Raphael, Pinturicchio, Bramante, Carracci, and Bernini.

Bonus – churches for culture vultures

For some tourists, architecture, frescoes, and sculptures aren’t enough. If you’re one of those and seek an unforgettable experience, we recommend you two spots that host opera concerts: Methodist Church and Waldensian Evangelical Church. There you’ll not only spend time in a remarkably beautiful interior, but also participate in a prestige cultural event. See you in Rome!