I stood in front of the “Mother of all Churches in the World” and enjoyed the moment of being there, thought about its historical significance, and appreciated its architectural grandeur.
The Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome aka the Rome’s Cathedral constitutes the perfect linkage between the pagan and Christian eras.
Created, in fact, for public meetings and administering justice, with the spread of the new faith it was turned into a imposing ecclesiastical building, capable of welcoming a large congregation.
The Basilica stands on the site of another built by the Emperor Constantine at around 314 A.D. in the grounds of the noble Laterani family, from whom the entire area gets its name. Repeatedly damaged (often as a result of fires) and restored, the basilica was embellished with a series of artistic treasures and adornments accumulated over the centuries.
Behind Alessandro Galilei’s eighteenth century façade lies Borromini’s magnificent interior, commissioned by Pope Innocent X for the Jubilee Year in 1650.
How to get there: get off at the stop San Giovanni of the underground and continue by foot crossing the walls. The walk is about 5 minutes.
Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano
Telephone: +39 06 69886493 sagrestia
Web site: www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_giovanni/index_it.htm
Hours and Admission Fees.
Basilica opening hours: every day from 7.00 to 18.30 (exit at 18.45)
Cloister: from 9.00 to 18.00 (admission fee: € 2,00)
Museum of the Basilica: from 10.00 to 17.30 (Tel. +39 0669886409)