Santa Maria Antiqua

Rome, Italy

Located at the foot of the Palatine Hill, Santa Maria Antiqua is the oldest and most significant Christian monument in the Roman Forum. The church was abandoned in the 9th century after an earthquake buried the buildings; it remained sealed for over 1000 years until its rediscovery in the early 20th century. Therefore, Santa Maria Antiqua represents a key element for the understanding of the cultural and urban development of the Roman Forum from Antiquity into the first centuries of the Christian period. Following a conservation program, the church is now open for tours.

The church contains a unique collection of wall paintings from the 6th to late 8th century. The discovery of these paintings have given many theories on the development of early medieval art and given distinctive beliefs in archaeology. The church has the earliest Roman depiction of Santa Maria Regina, the Virgin Mary as a Queen, from the 6th century.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 5th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ivo Hermsen (19 months ago)
Voor mij een van de mooiste dingen die te zien zijn op het forum. Een van de oudste kerken in Rome die dankzij een aardbeving nog redelijk bewaard is gebleven. Met lichttechnieken worden oude fresco’s tot leven geroepen. Alleen al de gang ernaartoe is de moeite waard. Zorg dat je een super ticket hebt voor de toegang. Jammer dat anderen een slechte beoordeling geven omdat het gesloten was, dit doet dit schitterende monument te kort.
Giulia Pellegrini (19 months ago)
Bellissima esperienza, ben spiegata coi suoi 7 strati decorativi succedutisi nel tempo. Da non perdere, grazie al biglietto S.U.P.E.R.!
Carmine DpC (2 years ago)
La Basilica di Santa Maria Antiqua da poco più di due anni ha riaperto al pubblico i suoi splendori dopo oltre trent’anni. La spettacolare basilica, scoperta da Giacomo Boni nel 1900 alle pendici del Palatino, ha nelle pitture che rivestono le sue pareti uno stupendo esempio unico nel mondo cristiano del primo millennio. Pitture perfettamente restaurate e databili tra il VI e IX secolo dopo Cristo, IX secolo che coincide con il suo abbandono a seguito dei crolli causati dal terremoto dell’847. Luogo assolutamente da vedere ed ammirare.
Mariamaddalena Blandini (2 years ago)
Domenica 4 novembre, prima domenica del mese musei gratuiti, ponte dei morti.... ed è chiusa. Meno male che si era tanto sbandierato la riapertura dopo 30 anni. Se volete vederla informatevi prima su date di apertura. Dispiace per a una struttura così importante.
Patrizia Colangeli (2 years ago)
Roma Fori Imperiali. Chiesa cattolica che custodisce un ritratto di Maria con bambinello catalogati tra i più antichi. La chiesa fu costruita sopra un tempio pagano.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.