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St. John Lateran

The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the oldest church in the West and the first of the four papal basilicas more, and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope. It stands on the Celio hill and was built under pope Melchiade (311-314) on land owned by the noble family of the Lateran.

The solemn eighteenth-century façade was built by Alessandro Galilei. Instead, the five-nave interior is the work of Borromini, who oversaw the renovation in the Jubilee of 1650.

In addition to the valuable architectural and liturgical furnishings Basilica preserves splendid reliquary dating back to 1804. It contains important relics: the heads of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and a fragment of the table where Jesus would have consumed, together with the apostles, the Last Supper. Also, inside the Basilica, there are artworks of great value, as the fresco by Giotto representing Pope Boniface VIII, some frescoes of Antoniazzo Romano or the funeral monument to Richard Annibaldi of 1290 by Arnolfo di Cambio.

Near the Basilica there is the Scala Sancta, a stair of 28 white marble steps encased in wooden ones that, according to medieval Christian tradition, identifies with the scale covered by Jesus Christ to go up in the praetorian palace of Pilate. This, as the relics kept in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, was brought to Rome by St. Helena.

The pilgrims pass through it on foot or on their knees, then stop to pray in front of the Sancta Sanctorum, the chapel of the Popes where is venerated the image of the SS. Salvatore, painted on wood.

In front of the Lateran Palace you can admire a monolithic red granite obelisk, the oldest and highest of Rome (32 m), dating back to the Pharaohs Tuthmosis III and Tuthmosis IV (fifteenth century BC), and brought to Rome by Emperor Constantius II in 357.

For several years in the square outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran on May 1st at the International Workers' Day, it held a concert, which houses some of the most important Italian musicians and songwriters.

Domus Sessoriana

St. John Lateran


Walking: 9 minutes along Viale Carlo Felice

By Public Transportation: Buses 16 - 81 - 801

Underground | Subway: Line A - stop at San Giovanni, just 800 meters from Domus Sessoriana hotel.