The Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva in Rome

From the outside, the Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva in Rome, Italy is a rather plain looking building.  The basilica belongs to the Dominicans who began building the present structure in 1280 AD and completed it in 1370 AD.  Despite its name, the basilica is built merely near the temple to the Roman goddess Minerva, not over it.

In the piazza in front of the basilica stands an obelisk on the back of an elephant.  The obelisk was under renovation during my trip.  An inscription on the pedestal says that in the same way that the obelisk is supported by an elephant, a robust mind is needed to achieve wisdom.

Inside, the basilica is full of marvels.  Michelangelo’s glorious sculpture of Christ the Redeemer is here, Saint Catherine of Siena is buried under the main altar, and noted painter Fra Angelico (Brother John from Fiesole) is buried here, his life and work commemorated in a stained glass window.

The Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva

The Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva

SOURCE:  The Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 12 August 2011.

Michelangelo's Sculpture of Christ the Redeemer

Michelangelo’s Sculpture of Christ the Redeemer

SOURCE:  Michelangelo’s Sculpture of Christ the Redeemer (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 12 August 2011.

Main Altar of the Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva

Main Altar of the Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva

SOURCE:  Main Altar of the Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 12 August 2011.

Tomb of Saint Catherine of Siena

Tomb of Saint Catherine of Siena

SOURCE:  Tomb of Saint Catherine of Siena (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 12 August 2011.

Stained Glass Window of Fra Angelico

Stained Glass Window of Fra Angelico

SOURCE:  Stained Glass Window of Fra Angelico (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 12 August 2011.

Copyright © 2011 by Stephen J. Danko

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