Thursday, April 15, 2010

Santa Maria Maggiore

A quick walk from our hotel, led us to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. A basilica is an important church that has been given special ceremonial rites by the Pope. There are four basilicas in Rome and this is the oldest. It dates back to the 4th century. Something that old is hard to imagine.

The condition of the exterior is a bit underwhelming, but then hey, it is quite old. We should look so good.

I especially like the dandelions growing on the statuary.

But walk inside and you will be totally amazed.

The center aisle.

The sculptures.

The mosaics.

The paintings and frescoes
in even a side chapel.

The gold leafing.

Every little detail ...
a piece of art

Even the floors are stunning marble mosaics.

If you have ever been to Rome, then you know that the work of sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini is everywhere. He is buried in this church and his epitaph simply states "He decorated the city."

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