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Archbasilica of St. John Lateran


25 reviews of Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

15 photos

Monumental and impacting

The external statues at St. John Lateran are of indescribable beauty. It's the official cathedral of the Roman diocese and where the Episcopal see of the Pope is located. It's one of the oldest churches in Rome though little remains of the original 3rd-century structure. It was heavily damaged in the earthquake of 896; the majestic facade and statues were built between 1732 and 1726 by Alessandro Galilei.

The neoclassical facade is crowned by statues of Christ, St. John the Baptist, and the Doctors of the Church. The size of the statues, especially that of Jesus, is really impressive. The facade was intentionally designed to be reminiscent of the facade of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
See ori's photos
8 photos

"Urbis et orbis omniun mater et caput ecclesiarium"

This is the mother and head of all the churches of not just the city of Rome, but also the entire world. That's the honorific title given to the Basilica St. John Lateran. The church was built in the 3rd century on the lands of the Lateran Family, a local noble family. After the extravagant and tyrannical rule of Nero, the Lateran family land fell into the hands of Constantine I. In a dream, he foresaw that he would win the Battle of the Milvian bridge. This, it turns out, came true. In gratitude to Christ, Constantine I donated the palace to the bishop of Rome during the pontificate of Pope Miltiades. It's a very nice building with an well-preserved interior with various places of worship.
See lamaga's photos
9 photos

You’ll feel very, very small…

This basilica is the Cathedral of Rome and seat of the bishop of Rome, i.e. The Pope. It is the mother of all Roman churches and it's not surprising: it is incomparably big. Standing beneath the huge facade makes you feel like just a tiny dot.

The interior is no less monumental. There are 12 enormous statues of the apostles from the 19th century. You get a chill up your spine as your cross the immense floor under the huge carved ceiling. While it's not as beautiful as other basilicas in Rome, it's worth visiting if only for the sensation it gives you. One thing: make sure to have your shoulders covered when you visit; they're very strict with the dress code.
See juan luis garitaonandía adán's photos
5 photos

Complete visit

When you visit the immense St. John Lateran, make sure to take the opportunity to visit the three other "minor" sights in what we might call the "St. John Complex." Just to the left of the world's oldest church, you'll see an audio-guide stand renting guides to three really interesting nearby places: the comatesque cloister, Lateran Baptistery, and the Scala Sancta.

We started at the cloister. This is a small enclosure surrounded by delicate columns and decorated with small pieces of colored marble that form a beautiful mosaic. It's absolutely stunning in the soft morning light.
juan luis garitaonandía adán
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El Triunfo de la Cruz
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Roberto Gonzalez
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Emeline Haye
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Information about Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran Phone Number
Archbasilica of St. John Lateran Address
Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, 4, 00184 Roma, Italia
Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, 4, 00184 Roma, Italia
Archbasilica of St. John Lateran Opening Hours
mon 7:00 - 18:30
tue 7:00 - 18:30
wed 7:00 - 18:30
thu 7:00 - 18:30
fri 7:00 - 18:30
sat 7:00 - 18:30
sun 7:00 - 18:30
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