The Archbasilica of St John Lateran is the cathedral church of the Italian capital city, Rome. The church was built in 311-314 and is considered to be the oldest church in the world. The structure of the building has however been restored and rebuilt over the years due to natural and manmade disasters. The church used to house the Pope and was formerly the most important Christian building in the world until the home of the Pope was moved to the Vatican. The church has a grand facade with statues and sculptures placed inside its walls and a knave and sancta. The church also contains relics from over the years.
The Basilica is about 5-minute walk from San Giovanni Metro Station on Line A, just 3 stops south of Termini Station and there are plenty of buses too.
Opening Times and Admission
Despite its importance in the Catholic faith, the St John’s Lateran does not attract the high demand like some other sights in Rome, so visiting should be a fairly calm and peaceful occasion. The Basilica is free to enter and is open every day from 7 am to 6.45pm and Holy Masses run every hour from 7 am to 12 pm, with an additional two masses at 5 pm and 6 pm.