Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Rome

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
4.5
About
Spectacular church full of breathtaking statues and paintings. Located near the Termini station in Rome, this church is guaranteed to leave you gasping in admiration.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Esquilino
Old school vibe from the very beginning is the only way to describe the Esquilino neighborhood. The Esquilino takes pride in being one of the oldest areas in Rome for its key location on one of the city’s famous seven hills. From an ancient neighborhood to its modern incarnation as a multicultural hub, Esquilino always has something going on—polyglot vendors debate street artists while kids play pick-up basketball games. Look around you: this area isn’t like the historic center. Liberty architecture, large piazzas, and long boulevards mix with archaic arches, secret side alleys, and beautiful churches like Santa Maria Maggiore.
How to get there
  • Repubblica - Teatro dell'Opera • 4 min walk
  • Termini • 6 min walk
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Noraatc
Sudbury, MA28,425 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
There is a real jewel on one of the busiest intersections in Rome, Piazza della Repubblica: it is the Chiesa Santa Maria Degli Angeli Dei Martiri, the church I always visit when I am in Rome. Not a lot left from the original Michelangelo’s design, only tne perfection of his vaulted transept, but the spirit of the great master is still present in this magnificent church.

The meridian solar line is a very special sight: the sun shines through the hole in the church's wall and right onto the meridian line.

A marvelous bridge between the ancient walls of the Baths of Diocletian and our days was built by addition of several notable pieces of contemporary art, the bronze doors and the statue of John the Baptist created by Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj in 2006 as well as the statue of Galileo Galilei Divine Man located in the church’s courtyard are some of them.
Written January 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter C
Island of Malta, Malta2,096 contributions
Sep 2021
Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs is very close to the main Termini station and built on a site previously used for Roman Baths. The Basilica is a sequence of architectural spaces developed on a Greek cross with a dominant transept, cubicle chapels at each end and a transverse nave. While visiting, I truly enjoyed the architectural treasures, imposing statues, commemorative tombs, beautiful paintings and decorative chapels. The Basilica was and remains an important Church for official functions.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dapper777
Monaco32,075 contributions
Jun 2020 • Friends
We have been in Rome countless times and never entered the church.
No doubt, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli is right among our favorite churches in Rome after we visited it with great interest (and amazement) during our last last stays in the city.
It may be a very nice surprise. Probably because we have been passing by so many times before visiting it, almost ignoring it.
In fact it is one of the very first buildings you come across when you leave Termini train station, and pass Piazzale dei Cinquecento and reach Piazza della Repubblica, an authentic starting point towards the main attractions of the city.
In the rush to run towards the Colosseum or Piazza Navona, you can miss this little gem which contains more or less ancient testimonies of Italian genius.
The exterior is surprising, one would not expect it to be the
façade of a church, in fact originally it was not.
In 1561, at the request of Antonio del Duca, a Sicilian priest, Pope Pius IV agreed to turn some halls of the baths od Diocletian into a church dedicated to Mary and the Seven Archangels.
Michelangelo developed a project based on the utilization of the enormous rectangular 'aula basilicale' ( spacious room) which stood between the ‘natatio’ (cold pool) and the tepidarium, where the bathers rested at an agreeable temperature.
The hall was embellished by eight gigantic granite columns which Michelangelo restored.
He also decorated it with coloured marbles which were still easy to find in XVIth century Rome.
With his genius, he decided to use the complex of the baths of Diocletian without altering its original beauty with an attention to archaeological heritage, not following the current habit of concealing the remains of antique buildings and spaces for the construction of modern works.
So from the apse of the ancient Calidarium (room in Roman times used for steam baths) he designed the current semicircular entrance.
The church was modified by Luigi Vanvitelli in 1749 changing its orientation and opening a new entrance in the tepidarium and a grand passage between the tepidarium and the 'central room.
Inside, among small chapels, paintings and statues, noteworthy is the monumental organ, inaugurated on the occasion of the 2000 Jubilee, and the sundial built by Pope Clement XI in 1702 served to adjust the time and clocks of Rome until 1846.
Certainly it is not the most popular church in Rome but worth a visit if you are in the area.
Written July 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Malgorzata
10,768 contributions
May 2019
The basilica is built on the ruins of the tepidarium of the ancient Diocletian Baths according to a design by Michelangelo. This was not so easy , because the baths were deserted and very damaged . Undeterred by this, Michelangelo, fascinated by the natural beauty of the building, and taken over by the respect for antiquity, decided to limit the changes to a minimum. Among other things, the facade of the church remained unchanged, in the form of a jagged ruin. The church is dedicated to Christian martyrs. In the apse was placed the tomb of Pope Pius IV, the founder of this church. The current door to the basilica was designed by Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj. Very beautiful, full of works of art, frescoes, paintings and sculptures that can fascinate everyone. It is worth visiting.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter3101
Edinburgh, UK423 contributions
Feb 2020
When in Rome, all the churches that you visit eventually merge, but this one is unusual as it has a SUNDIAL set into the floor.

If you are preoccupied looking at the ceiling and the walls, which is normal (and reasonable) tourist behaviour, you might miss it, It was inaugurated by Pope Clement XI in 1702 and is 45 metres long, and beautifully set into the floor of the nave. The rays of the sun enter through the coat of arms of Pope Clement, set high up in the wall.

A sundial in a church is unusual enough, but, beside it is a 'Boreal Meridian' to track the movement of the Pole star, with light entering through a different hole in the wall.

Beside these two there are lovely marble inlays representing the signs of the zodiac etc set into the floor.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Syadza A
Jakarta, Indonesia41 contributions
Jan 2020
When you first saw this Basilica, you will think that this is very interesting and old since the front is like it carved from the rock.
And then, you walked in and be surprised by how huge it is on the inside. The murals on the ceiling are breathtaking.
You will want to make a visit and see it at least once. :)
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mojmir B
Bratislava, Slovakia472 contributions
Mar 2018 • Couples
Located very close to Rome’s Termini, the Basilica is a place which shouldn’t be avoided during your Rome’s Trip. This ancient and collossal place is indeed worth your visit.
Written March 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy W
New Jersey268 contributions
After getting some advice before heading to the pricey Baths of Caracalla I read about the Baths that were here before this church. Apparently they are much better preserved than Caracalla and I could imagine after reading Rick Steve's Rome where the baths and cooling off rooms were. The red marble columns in the church were original to the baths and when you walk around you can imagine as it looked back then with people bathing and exercising...worth the trip right outside of Termini station in front of Piazza Republicca.
Written July 28, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Antonio M
Milan, Italy56 contributions
Feb 2018
Imagine Michelangelo taking a whole section of neglected Diocletian thermal bath and creating inside a Christian church on behalf of Pope Paul IV in 1562!
It's really something unique because still today you walk in a church that is at the same time the roman Frigidarium central hall, with huge spaces and shining multicolored marbles. The feeling of being like an ancien roman wondering in a thermal bath is not possible anywhere else, at Rome at least. Michelangelo respected the succession of ancient rooms, their huge dimensions and airy spaces and simply added some touches (entrances, chapels etc) without altering the past. No virtual reality here, just history! Don't miss also the cloister designed always by Michelangelo himself for the monastery adjoining the church. To me it is a fantastic stargate even because there are never crowds.
Trust me and go!
Written April 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

finesilver
Denver, CO2,353 contributions
Jan 2019 • Business
This is the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and Martyrs. It has a non-descript exterior but a spectacular interior. Don't miss the lifesize sculptures carved into the two giant doors as you enter. This place for some reason is not mentioned really in any of the tour books. Once you enter, oh there is no charge, you are greeted to a breathtaking layout, and top statues and paintings. Plus the place is huge.

This Church is more “modern” and was started in 1564 completed mid 18th century. Two new doors replaced the old doors in 2006 and are so very cool. There is a sculpture of St John the Baptist’s head which was very fascinating to see and photograph. There is a small exterior patio which shows what the baths were like in the old days in this area. Also, don't miss a whole piece of astronomy in the church, where a calendar in the floor was installed with a significant degree of scientific accuracy. It is a time line which shows down at various places throughout the year. The Church has a pinhole to let the light in which acts as a calendar and matches the zodiac and solunar calendar exactly.

This is one of the churches in Rome that makes you gasp in admiration. It is located near the Termini station in Rome just a piazza above the station. It is just across the street from the fountains at Pl. Republica.

Well worth seeking this place out and taking a ton of photos there.
Written February 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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