Santa Maria in Trastevere

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Santa Maria in Trastevere

Santa Maria in Trastevere

Denomination : Roman Catholic
Patronage : Mary (mother of Jesus)
Consecration year : 220, 340, 1140
Cardinal priest : Carlos Osoro Sierra
Address: Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere
00153 Roma

Coordinates: 41 ° 53 ′ 22 "  N , 12 ° 28 ′ 11"  E

Altar with ciborium, behind the apse with the mosaics by Cavallini
General view of the interior

Santa Maria in Trastevere ( Latin : Sanctae Mariae trans Tiberim ) is the oldest St. Mary's Church in Rome and, together with the square in front of it, forms the center of the Trastevere district .


According to the traditions of the 4th century, where the altar of the church stands today, originated in 38 BC. An oily spring ( fons olei ). What could possibly be explained by volcanic activity was seen by the Jewish inhabitants of the quarter as the announcement of the Messiah. This event was later interpreted as a sign of the coming of Jesus Christ. As early as the 3rd century there was said to have been a Christian house church on the site, in the place of which Julius I had a large basilica built in the middle of the 4th century , which was replaced by a new building with a campanile in the 12th century under Innocent II . Material from the Caracalla Baths was used for this purpose.

In the holy year 1525 the church served as a replacement for the church of St. Paul Outside the Walls, which was flooded by the Tiber . The main portal served as the holy door . Also in the holy years 1625, 1700 and 1825, Santa Maria in Trastevere replaced the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, which had to remain closed in 1625 and 1700 due to epidemics in the Roman area and was completely destroyed in 1825 due to the fire of 1823.

The church has been a Roman titular church since 1120 and the church bears the title of a minor basilica . One of the branch churches of the chapter of Santa Maria in Trastevere was Sante Rufina e Seconda until 1602 .


The mosaics in the apse date from the time of the new building in the 12th century. The mosaics on the triumphal arch and in the lower apse were created a century later by Pietro Cavallini . The latter show the life of Mary in six pictures: the birth of the Virgin , the Annunciation, the birth of Jesus, the adoration of the wise, the offering of Jesus in the temple and the death of Mary. They were donated by Cardinal Pietro Stefaneschi , to whom a Gothic tomb in the church commemorates. He left the description of the first holy year in history in 1300.

In the vestibule there has been a square stone container on a pilaster high above since 1308 , which is the remains of the ash urn of Pope Innocent II. The mosaics above the vestibule date from the 13th and 14th centuries. They show Mary with the child and wise and foolish virgins (according to Mt 25: 1-13).

Despite Baroque additions and alterations, the church has still retained its medieval impression. The columns come from an ancient building, possibly from the Baths of Caracalla .

See also


  • Anton Henze: "Art Guide Rome" , Philipp Reclam GmbH, Stuttgart 1994, pp. 235–237. ISBN 3-15-010402-5

Web links

Commons : Santa Maria in Trastevere  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Claudio Rendina: Le Chiese di Roma , 2004, p. 242.
  2. ^ Claudio Rendina: Le Chiese di Roma , 2004, p. 242.
  3. ^ Claudio Rendina: Le Chiese di Roma , 2004, p. 243.