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The religious architecture is one of the fundamental components of the monumental patrimony of the city of Rome.
It is considered that in the late republican period the city was hosting already more then hundred temples. Very fanous is the Pantheon which then became the Church of Santa Maria ad Martyres. It is a building of ancient Rome dedicated to all gods. It was built by emperor Adriano between 118 and 128 a.C. The temple has a colonnade in front and inside it has a cylinder form overlapped by a hemisphere. At the center of the cupola there is a circular opening which allows a very suggestive lighting during the day.
The Christian churches are several hundreds. Here are only a few examples:
Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four papal basilicas in Rome. The first construction is from 432 a.C. but it was then reworked in later periods. It is in a baroc and early Christian style. Inside wonderful mosaics with a series desicated to the Old Testament, Christ childhood with some tables that seem to refer to the apocryphal Gospels. The roof is decorated with gold. Inside the Church the Sforza chapel built on the design of Michelangelo. Bernini was buried at Santa Maria Maggiore in the family vault. The bell tower is 75 meters high, the highest in Rome.
Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano was built in the IV century. In actual fact it is made of four different basilicas built one above the other in differend periods. The last one is from the XVII century. The baislica has five naves. Along the side naves there are chapels dedicated to important persons and families of that time. The apse includes the pope throne which makes this Church the cathedral of Rome.
Basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura is another of the four papal basilicas. It was built on a sepulcral area which was in use from I century b.C. to the III century a.C. The Basilica as it is today, is a reconstruction made in 1825 after that a fire has destroyed the Basilica. It is over 131 meters long and large 65 meters. Outside is a four-sided portico and the fašace is decorated by a mosaic. Inside it presents a latin cross plant and is divided in five naves. Above the arches which divide the naves there are circles in mosaic with portraits of all the popes up to the current one, Benedetto XVI.
Rome is the city with the highest number of Churches in the world considering also the high number of temples for Orthodox, Christians and other faiths. Between 1984 and 1992 the largest mosque in Europe was built in this city.
The religious funerary architectures are also numerous. There are approximately sixty catacombs. There are also hypogea, necropolis and graveyards with a pyramidical form on the model of the Egyptian ones.
Il Cemetery Flaminio, is the largest in Italy and it extends itself on 170 hectars of land and includes 70 kilometers of roads inside.
The Cemetery Verano or Monumental Cemetery was built on the project of Valadier over a burial place already existing. Many famous people were buried in this cemetery such as Sibilla Aleramo, Vittorio de Sica, Grazia Deledda, Rino Gaetano, Vittorio Gassman, Natalia Ginzburg, Marcello Matroianni, Gianni Rodari, Roberto Rossellini, Alberto Sordi, Trilussa, Giuseppe Ungaretti and many more.