Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere
The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is a titular minor basilica, one of the oldest Churches of Rome.
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere (Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere) is a titular minor basilica , one of the oldest churches in Rome, perhaps the first in which mass was openly celebrated. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s AD.
Dating from the 4th century AD, Santa Maria in Trastevere has a long history and dazzling 12th-century mosaics that make it well worth a visit. Located in the popular Trastevere neighborhood, its atmospheric piazza is enhanced by the mosaics on the facade, especially at night when the church and its tower are illuminated.
Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere may have originally been founded as early as the 3rd century by Pope Callixtus (217-22), but it was probably built around 350 AD under Pope Julius I (337-52). In this early period the church was known as titulus Callisti. It was partially destroyed by fire during the sack of Rome in 410, then repaired and rededicated to the Virgin Mary by Pope Celestine (422-32).
Restoration was undertaken by Pope Hadrian I (772-95), then Pope Gregory IV (827-44) added a crypt to hold the bodies of the popes Calixtus, Julius I and Cornelius that had been exhumed from the catacombs. Renovations of the apse took place under Pope Leo IV (847-55) and Benedict III (855-58).
The Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere was totally rebuilt in the 12th century by Pope Innocent II (1130-43), using materials from the ancient Baths of Caracalla. Most of the present building dates from this era, with the portico and some other remodelling from the 19th century.