Church of Santa Maria Antiqua

"Church of Santa Maria Antiqua" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 29th June 2011

Church of Santa Maria Antiqua

In 1902 the church located on this site, Chiesa di S.Maria Liberatrice, was demolished. It was built in the 13th century and transformed in baroque forms several centuries later (its name was given to another church built in the beginning of the 20th century in Testaccio district). Destruction brought to the light the rests of the more ancient Christian church, S.Maria Antiqua, erected in the 6th century inside of one of the halls of the imperial palace on Palatine Hill, built by Domitian.

It is the oldest and most important Christian building in the Forum. The wall-paintings inside are of the first importance in the history of early Christian art. As a consequence of the earthquake in the middle of the 9th century under St.Leo IV, the deacons from S.Maria Antiqua moved to another church S.Maria Nova (S.Francesca Romana). The interior is based on three naves with small chapels in the end of the minor naves. Very interesting are also the two niches that can admire by the sides of the hall, probably dating back to the period before the collapse in C. IX.

Church of Santa Maria Antiqua and the Domitian Buildings complex constitutes the link between the Roman Forum (Foro Romano) and the Palatine Hill. It consists of a huge hall of Domitian’s Age, “tabernae” of Hadrian’s Age and another uncovered square room from which three entrances lead to a hall formed by a central room with a quadriportico and three rooms behind it. This last part was transformed into the church of Santa Maria Antiqua in the sixth century AD.

Church of Santa Maria Antiqua
Via dei Fori Imperiali (Via di San Teodoro, 7)
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Campitelli (Foro Romano- Campidoglio-P.Venezia) (Roma centro)/ Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
Church of Santa Maria Antiqua is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "19"
Contact and Booking, Entrance, Hours, Public transport and Other Essential: Visit Roman Forum

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