Hotel near the papal basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
Cosy and in an excellent location, the Hotel Lux Hotel is near the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
The Basilica is just over a kilometre from the hotel and you can get to it on foot in about 15 minutes, by walking along Via Gaeta towards Via Castelfidardo, Via Volturno, Piazza dei Cinquecento, Via Giovanni Giolitti, Via Gioberti and Via dell'Esquilino. It is one of the four papal basilicas of Rome and is located between the Monti district and that of Esquilino. It is the only Roman basilica that has maintained its primitive Early Christian structure even though it was subsequently enriched with various additions. It was built between 352 and 366 and then rebuilt between 432 and 440. With a height of 75 metres, the Renaissance Romanesque style bell tower is the tallest in the city. In the centre of the Basilica, there is a large bronze door built by Ludovico Pogliaghi in 1949, while on the left there is the Holy Door, blessed by John Paul II on 8 December 2001.
The large spaces, the splendid marble and the rich decoration create a truly monumental effect. It is divided into three naves by two rows of columns. Between the colonnade and the ceiling, there is a series of frescoes depicting "Stories from the life of Mary". The ceiling was designed by Giuliano da Sangallo and completed by his brother Antonio. The mosaic floor was created by the Cosmati marble masters. The 5th century mosaics along the central nave and on the triumphal arch are extraordinarily beautiful. The interiors are rich in corners and works to admire: the Cesi Chapel, the statue of Regina Pacis, the Sforza Chapel, Bernini's tomb, the Holy Crib and the Nativity Scene by Arnolfo di Cambio.
The Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is open every day from 7 am to 6.45 pm. For a fee, you can visit the Loggia of the Blessings, the Sala dei Papi (Room of Popes), Bernini's Staircase, the archaeological excavations and, if you choose a guide, the Basilica itself.