Basilica San Giovanni in Laterno

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Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, Italy

Basilica San Giovanni in Laterno Rome Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
110 reviews
Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano Mar 11, 2013
The archbasillica sits on the site of the old Roman imperial cavalry bodyguard and land once owned by the Laterani, a family that produced several generations of imperial administrators. Constantine eliminated the cavalry which had supported one of his rivals and acquired the land through his second marriage. He then donated it to Pope Miltiades who used it to host an early church council. The home of the papacy for a thousand years, St. John Lateran went into decline when the popes relocated for a time to Avignon in the Middle Ages.

The neighboring Lateran Palace was originally erected by the Laterani but rebuilt in the 16th century. The Lateran Treaty was signed here in 1929 that established Vatican City as an independent state. The Egyptian obelisk in the piazza dates from the 15th century BCE and was pilfered by Constantine. It was put up in the Circus Maximus until Pope Sixtus V had it moved to its current location. The largest surviving Egyptian obelisk, it functioned as a marker for Chritian pilgrims in Rome (which is why all the obelisks sit near significant churches).

As the other reviewers noted, the often ignored archbasillica is an architectural and artistic treat. I visited it on my last day in the city and was frankly getting burnt out by all the churches I had seen. At least I took a lot of photos which I more enjoy looking through now than when I was in the place taking them. Worth a second visit if I ever go back to Rome.
The Lateran Palace to the left and…
Rear entrance
Tomb of Pope Martin V (be sure to …
The crypt
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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HORSCHECK says:
Thanks for the congrats. - Great review of the basilica here.
Posted on: May 05, 2014
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SPLIT SPLIT
2 reviews
Romee Mar 21, 2011
Rome is a must place to visit. Visit spanish steps where all bars and kafes are. Also vatican is a must and so many churchs:) have fun
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Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Highly significant Oct 15, 2010
Consecrated in 324 AD, the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is an incredibly important cathedral which few people appreciate during their visit to Rome. As well as being a major basilica, this gothic cathedral is the official seat of the Bishop of Rome (i.e. the Pope), contains the papal throne, ranks above St Peter’s Basilica and falls under the special jurisdiction of the Holy See despite being in Rome.

Apart from the sheer importance of this cathedral within the Roman Catholic faith, is a stunning place of artistic beauty. The mosaics and the decorations are very beautiful and dressed with wonderful shades of blue and gold. The ceiling has this ornate gold finish and is studded with all of these different crests and emblems. Overall, the finish and atmosphere made this one of the most amazing church visits I have made in Italy.

Greatly and unjustifiably underrated and underappreciated. A place of stunning art and catholic significance. Highly recommended.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Vipin says:
definitely! a really stunning Cathedral, and my fave after St Peter's!
Posted on: Jan 06, 2011
montecarlostar says:
One day... sigh...
Posted on: Jan 06, 2011
peppertm peppertm
116 reviews
Basilica San Giovanni in Laterno Jul 12, 2009
Built in the 4th century, The Basilica san Giovanni in Laterno is the cathedral of the Church of Rome and is the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope). This Basilica is the oldest of the four major basilicas in Rome, as well as the first (or highest ranking), and also holds the title of ecumenical mother church, meaning it is the mother church of the whole inhabited world, among Catholics. Found in Rome, outside of the Vatican walls, it has been granted a special extraterritorial status as a property of the Holy See. It is a large, beautiful church, full of worshippers and tourists a like. It’s free to enter, and to take pictures, yet a little consideration should be taken, as worshippers are there to attend church services and for prayer.
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