Friday, July 6, 2012

Santa Maria in Trastevere

I have the luck of living a 5 minute walk from the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. At night it's filled with Romans taking a passaggiata, tourists tripping over cobblestones as they look at their maps, and young people eating gelato and drinking beer around the fountain. The piazza is named after the basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere that graces the northern end.

The original sanctuary was built in 221 AD, and the basic plan and wall structure dates to the 340s. The church claims to be the first church ever built dedicated to the virgin Mary, but that fact is challenged by Santa Maria in Maggiore (also in Rome). The church has been restored twice, in the 1100s and the late 1800s.

I am blown away by the mosaics at the alter! They date to about 1290. The colors are so vivid, and the fact that shading can be achieved with small tiles is fascinating to me. Here are a few pictures of the basilica I took yesterday-

1 comment: