Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major)

Founded in the 4th century, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) is one of the five great ancient basilicas of Rome. Its 18th-century exterior conceals one of the best-preserved Byzantine interiors in the city. Santa Maria Maggiore stands on the site of a temple to the goddess Cybele. According to a 13th-century legend, the first church was built here by Pope Liberiu.

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