Rome ~ Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva

On our second morning in Rome, our first stop was a church…

Rome Santa Maria Elephant Piazza della MinervaRight next door to our hotel, the Pantheon Inn, and behind the Pantheon, is a cream-colored, plain-faced church that most people probably never experience unless they’ve read about it. The baby elephant carved in 1667 by Bernini with the Egyptian obelisk in the Piazza della Minerva in front of the church gets most of the attention.

Rome Santa Maria exter, WallyHowever, if you take the time to peek inside the church, you will be stunned. It is gorgeous – a feast for the eyes! Through those massive green doors awaits a heavenly view…

Rome Santa Maria main hall viewThe Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva, which translates to the Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva, was built directly over the foundations of a temple to Minerva, thus the name. Construction on the basilica began  in 1280 and it is the only Gothic church in Rome.

We wandered about, taking in the glowing artworks, the shining cool marble and soaring views.

Rome Santa Maria candles to ceiling, altar

Rome Santa Maria ceiling

Rome Santa Maria chapel dome ceiling

Rome Santa Maria dark and painted alcove

Rome Santa Maria gate to ceiling

Rome Santa Maria marble chapel

Rome Santa Maria mary vertical

Rome Santa Maria occulus chapel clsup

Rome Santa Maria occulus chapel vert

Rome Santa Maria painted chapel

Rome Santa Maria painting & altar

Rome Santa Maria skull memorial

Rome Santa Maria stained glass

Rome Santa Maria vert main section

Rome Santa Maria view to front doors

Rome Santa Maria wood cabinets

I love this next shot of the elephant and Pantheon dome behind it…

Rome Bernini Elephant Piazza della Minerva

Rome Santa Maria candles to ceiling, altar

Rome Jamie and Elephant

Rome Piazza della Minerva elephant, child with ball

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the church, here is a good link:

I’ll let that sink in a bit before we continue our morning tour…

We’re headed to the morning market at the Campo de Fiori next.


Categories: Travel: ITALY | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Rome ~ Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva

  1. Pingback: Italy 2015 ~ The Vatican | busybeetraveler

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