The official ecclesiastical seat of the pope, Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is the oldest church in the city. Commissioned by Emperor Constantine, the church was consecrated in the year 324 CE, the first Christian structure to be completed in the city. Though massively renovated over the years, the interior owes much of its current appearance to Francesco Borromini, a prominent Baroque architect. The building's most notable features are the gilded ceiling, a 15th-century mosaic floor, and a central nave lined by 5 m (16 ft) high statues of the apostles. Over the papal altar, you can find a baldachin--an ornamental structure resembling a canopy--that contains the relics of the heads of saints Peter and Paul. The monument to Pope Sylvester II is rumored to have sweated and squeaked on numerous occasions when the death of a pope was imminent. Work out when and for how long to visit Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano and other Rome attractions using our handy Rome trip planner.
Tours To Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Passion of Christ Walking Tour in Rome BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $78
Duration: 3 hours
Private Tour: Christian Rome BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $406
Duration: 6 hours
Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano Reviews
Basilica of St. John in Lateran, is also called the Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World. This basilica is the cathedral of bishop of Rome, one of the four major basilicas. It... more »
We were actually staying close by. Had breakfast in a lovely little cafe/bar on the piazza. Walked around the whole building and some beautiful painted ceilings in the adjacent building. It was a... more »
Superb church to rival St. Peter's in the Vatican. One can only marvel at the monumental scale of the buildings. Great location in the heart of the city with excellent access to public transport
Massive church, though not immediately obvious where the entrance is! Particularly enjoyed the statues of the 12 apostles inside. Outside curiously unkempt: a large area of scruffy grass where pigeons seem to enjoy sitting down. And why not?
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