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“Fascinating architecture and history”

Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
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Small Group Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas Half-Day Tour
Ranked #7 of 1,477 things to do in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Known to be the first church in Christendom, this church belongs to the Vatican and has the privileges of extraterritoriality.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
146 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Fascinating architecture and history”
Reviewed 6 March 2012

Check out each of the niches along the corridors; look down the enclosed stairway at the statuary. The vaults overhead are positively stunning. If you exit the cathedral after dark, be sure to take photos of the green-lighted buildings across the street. I took several on automatic exposure with my camera held very steady and still against the building (to avoid a blurred result from slight movement while the shutter clicked), and they are some of the most interesting photos of the city.

Visited December 2011
1 Thank GoThere88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
138 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“The Pope's Home Base”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

An incredible church, this is the Pope's "home base" in Rome and the first legal Christian church in Rome. It was founded by Constantine way back in the day, so there has been a church on this site for something like 1700+ years.

The architecture here is truly incredible, with a massive nave, a beautifully coffered ceiling and frescoes everywhere. The side chapels are filled with beautiful works of art and offer a quiet place to sit and rest.

Cool fact: the massive center bronze doors are the original Roman Senate house doors. Think about all the people that passed through them...many popes, kings, Julius Caesar, Cicero, and you...if they are open.

Next door is the Lateran palace - home to the popes until they moved to the Vatican, and now a museum with limited hours. Visiting this basilica is taking a trip back to the earliest history of the Church and to me, sometimes feels more accessible than St. Peter's.

Visited March 2012
2 Thank lovewine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
967 reviews
480 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Its amazing!. Even more in a sunny day because its enlightened and you can appreciate the work done on the ceiling.

Visited January 2012
Thank soniawasabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
81 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“A church worth visiting”
Reviewed 29 February 2012

This church is massive and beautiful. When you first step inside, the huge, sculpted statues of Christ and the Saints line the center walk to the altar. The entire area is full of decor, from the floor to the ceiling and the cloisters.
If you need to purchase some religious items (rosaries, pendants, crosses, etc), their souvenir shop has the best prices.
The church is quite far from central Rome so it is best to take the metro to get there.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank msb444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
62 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Impressive and not very known”
Reviewed 27 February 2012

It's a small St Peter!! A must for visitors, right in the Bus connection to Catacombs

Visited February 2012
Thank miglozoya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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