Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
4.5
About
Spectacular church full of breathtaking statues and paintings. Located near the Termini station in Rome, this church is guaranteed to leave you gasping in admiration.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Esquilino
Old school vibe from the very beginning is the only way to describe the Esquilino neighborhood. The Esquilino takes pride in being one of the oldest areas in Rome for its key location on one of the city’s famous seven hills. From an ancient neighborhood to its modern incarnation as a multicultural hub, Esquilino always has something going on—polyglot vendors debate street artists while kids play pick-up basketball games. Look around you: this area isn’t like the historic center. Liberty architecture, large piazzas, and long boulevards mix with archaic arches, secret side alleys, and beautiful churches like Santa Maria Maggiore.
How to get there
  • Repubblica - Teatro dell'Opera • 4 min walk
  • Termini • 6 min walk
Popular mentions

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Noraatc
Sudbury, MA24,331 contributions
The bridge between the old and the new
Feb 2020 • Solo
There is a real jewel on one of the busiest intersections in Rome, Piazza della Repubblica: it is the Chiesa Santa Maria Degli Angeli Dei Martiri, the church I always visit when I am in Rome. Not a lot left from the original Michelangelo’s design, only tne perfection of his vaulted transept, but the spirit of the great master is still present in this magnificent church.

The meridian solar line is a very special sight: the sun shines through the hole in the church's wall and right onto the meridian line.

A marvelous bridge between the ancient walls of the Baths of Diocletian and our days was built by addition of several notable pieces of contemporary art, the bronze doors and the statue of John the Baptist created by Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj in 2006 as well as the statue of Galileo Galilei Divine Man located in the church’s courtyard are some of them.
Written 11 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dapper777
Monaco29,400 contributions
Amazing surprise
Jun 2020 • Friends
We have been in Rome countless times and never entered the church.
No doubt, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli is right among our favorite churches in Rome after we visited it with great interest (and amazement) during our last last stays in the city.
It may be a very nice surprise. Probably because we have been passing by so many times before visiting it, almost ignoring it.
In fact it is one of the very first buildings you come across when you leave Termini train station, and pass Piazzale dei Cinquecento and reach Piazza della Repubblica, an authentic starting point towards the main attractions of the city.
In the rush to run towards the Colosseum or Piazza Navona, you can miss this little gem which contains more or less ancient testimonies of Italian genius.
The exterior is surprising, one would not expect it to be the
façade of a church, in fact originally it was not.
In 1561, at the request of Antonio del Duca, a Sicilian priest, Pope Pius IV agreed to turn some halls of the baths od Diocletian into a church dedicated to Mary and the Seven Archangels.
Michelangelo developed a project based on the utilization of the enormous rectangular 'aula basilicale' ( spacious room) which stood between the ‘natatio’ (cold pool) and the tepidarium, where the bathers rested at an agreeable temperature.
The hall was embellished by eight gigantic granite columns which Michelangelo restored.
He also decorated it with coloured marbles which were still easy to find in XVIth century Rome.
With his genius, he decided to use the complex of the baths of Diocletian without altering its original beauty with an attention to archaeological heritage, not following the current habit of concealing the remains of antique buildings and spaces for the construction of modern works.
So from the apse of the ancient Calidarium (room in Roman times used for steam baths) he designed the current semicircular entrance.
The church was modified by Luigi Vanvitelli in 1749 changing its orientation and opening a new entrance in the tepidarium and a grand passage between the tepidarium and the 'central room.
Inside, among small chapels, paintings and statues, noteworthy is the monumental organ, inaugurated on the occasion of the 2000 Jubilee, and the sundial built by Pope Clement XI in 1702 served to adjust the time and clocks of Rome until 1846.
Certainly it is not the most popular church in Rome but worth a visit if you are in the area.
Written 7 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Malgorzata
9,323 contributions
So beautiful
May 2019
The basilica is built on the ruins of the tepidarium of the ancient Diocletian Baths according to a design by Michelangelo. This was not so easy , because the baths were deserted and very damaged . Undeterred by this, Michelangelo, fascinated by the natural beauty of the building, and taken over by the respect for antiquity, decided to limit the changes to a minimum. Among other things, the facade of the church remained unchanged, in the form of a jagged ruin. The church is dedicated to Christian martyrs. In the apse was placed the tomb of Pope Pius IV, the founder of this church. The current door to the basilica was designed by Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj. Very beautiful, full of works of art, frescoes, paintings and sculptures that can fascinate everyone. It is worth visiting.
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peter3101
Edinburgh, UK423 contributions
Don't miss the sundial(s)
Feb 2020
When in Rome, all the churches that you visit eventually merge, but this one is unusual as it has a SUNDIAL set into the floor.

If you are preoccupied looking at the ceiling and the walls, which is normal (and reasonable) tourist behaviour, you might miss it, It was inaugurated by Pope Clement XI in 1702 and is 45 metres long, and beautifully set into the floor of the nave. The rays of the sun enter through the coat of arms of Pope Clement, set high up in the wall.

A sundial in a church is unusual enough, but, beside it is a 'Boreal Meridian' to track the movement of the Pole star, with light entering through a different hole in the wall.

Beside these two there are lovely marble inlays representing the signs of the zodiac etc set into the floor.
Written 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Johanna V
Southwest Finland, Finland22 contributions
Magnificent church
May 2019
Breathtakingly stunning and exquisite church. Fun and beautiful atmosphere and lots to watch. I recommend checking out.
Written 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Syadza A
Jakarta, Indonesia41 contributions
Unique front and magnificent inside.
Jan 2020
When you first saw this Basilica, you will think that this is very interesting and old since the front is like it carved from the rock.
And then, you walked in and be surprised by how huge it is on the inside. The murals on the ceiling are breathtaking.
You will want to make a visit and see it at least once. :)
Written 14 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ariel-Scarlett
Finland8,494 contributions
Humble exterior, gorgeous interior
Oct 2019
The curb appeal is really deceiving as it’s very humble looking but inside is a large beautiful church in a place where used to be the old Baths of Diocletian. (Original architecture of the church by Michelangelo!) Some of my favourites were the “Angel of Light” and “Head of St. John the Baptist” sculptures, the very impressive organ and overall the beautiful ornate interior, especially the red marble and granite. But the coolest thing is the famous meridian line! It would be to nice to be there on winter solstice day and see the long sunbeam. :) Don’t miss the intriguing bronze front doors.
Written 22 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SoloTogether
Ludlow, UK462 contributions
Vast and Grand Inner Space.......
Aug 2019
This Basilica is a fantastic preserved complex of buildings epitomising the style and decoration of the older worshipping places in Rome. The exterior appears s an interesting concoction of old buildings, but it belies the magnificence of the Basilicas vast, cavernous inner space. The alter is ornate, but it's the inner scale of things and amount of marble that impresses as a whole.

There are various rooms, exhibits and ruins to explore on this complex, which makes Santa Maria Degli Angeli more of a church/museum experience, offering an insight into ancient times.
Written 1 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MazziFamily
Bristol, UK205 contributions
Church
Nov 2019 • Couples
This church is also connected with the Baths of Diocletian, it’s such a peaceful church, with amazing statues, pillars, paintings and of course beautiful marble. Along side this church is interconnections to what would of been the biggest Roman Baths in its time
Written 16 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Omusubi
201 contributions
What a surprise!
Nov 2019 • Couples
From the unassuming exterior and entrance of this church, one would never guess the magnificence housed inside. The frescoes are beautiful as is the interior. No wonder this church has been designated a “Basilica” ( one of 576 in Italy). The pipe organ is very impressive and we fortunately stumbled in when there was a mass being held and the organ was being played. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area of Piazza Della Repubblica.
Written 10 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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