Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

Aquileia, Italy

Aquileia, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Early Roman Empire, was destroyed by Attila in the mid-5th century. The patriarchal basilica, an outstanding building with an exceptional mosaic pavement, played a key role in the evangelization of a large region of central Europe.

The architectural development of the Basilica of Aquileia, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the saints Hermagora and Fortunatus, started immediately after 313 AD. In that period the Edict of Milan put an end to religious persecution and the Christian community was legally able to build its first place of public worship. In the following centuries, after the destruction of this first church, seat of a bishopric, the inhabitants of Aquileia built it up again other four times, using each time the structures of the previous buildings: Theodorian Hall, first half of the 4th century; Post-Theodorian North, middle of the 4th century; Post-Theodorian South, end of the 4th century or after the middle of the 5th century; hall of Maxentius, 9th century; Poppo's church, first half of the 11th century; rebuilding of the upper part of the church by Markward von Randeck, from the pointed arches to the roof, 14th-15th century.

The Basilica, as it is today, is in Romanesque-Gothic style. The entire floor is a wonderful coloured mosaic of the 4th century, brought to light in the years 1909-1912. With its 760 square metres the floor is the largest Paleo-Christian mosaic of the western world. The mosaic was partly damaged due to the construction of the columns flanking the right side at the end of the 4th century according to some scholars and after the middle of the 5th century according to others.

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Founded: c. 313 AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tamara MiJu (10 months ago)
Magnificent building with hude, extremwly well preserved mosaics. A must.
Paul Heller (11 months ago)
For only 5 euro you can enter the basilica and witness one if the oldest mosaic floors in Europe. I've never seen anything like it. The artwork is amazing. The entrance also includes the crypt. For an additional charge you can also see the newly excavated crypt. Highly recommend and hidden gem. Unesco site.
Turai Tamás (11 months ago)
Rare religious, historical site in lovely setting. By all means worth a little detour.
S B (12 months ago)
Very nice to see. Suggest you get the FVG card for the ferry from Grado to Triest and it also includes all in Aquileia.
Daniel De Luca (12 months ago)
Amazing mosaics. Very impressive..
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