Headout is an authorized and trusted partner of the venue, offering curated experiences to enjoy this attraction. This is not the venue's website.
Known as the ‘Mother Church of the Whole World’ among Catholics, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is the oldest of Rome’s four major Papal Basilicas and functioned as the official seat of the Pope until 1870. Its rich historicity, magnificent architecture, and sacrilegious importance attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The present-day neo-classical structure of the cathedral is a mark of the splendid craftsmanship of the architect Alessandro Galilei in the 18th century.
The spectacular front doors taken from the Senate Hall are older than the Basilica itself and reminiscent of its Roman heritage. Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, as it is commonly referred to, houses the biggest Egyptian obelisk in the world, 12 baroque statues of the apostles, richly decorated marble walls, mosaics, and Cosmatesque floors. Read on to find out more about the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran Tickets, how to reach there, its opening hours, and other details that will help you plan your visit.
Enjoy a Super Flexible Cancellation Policy with your St. John Lateran Tickets by booking them online. You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund. For more information, make sure to check your details before purchasing.
The oldest Church in the West, St. John Lateran Archbasilica boasts unforgettable Renaissance architecture that also shows influences from the ancient Roman and Gothic eras. Many renowned painters and sculptors have left their mark on this Cathedral. Though its importance as the Papal residence has waned, the numerous holy relics housed in the Archbasilica make it one of the Holiest Catholic sites. Make sure to book your tickets well in advance to avoid missing out on witnessing such a spectacular structure. Booking your tickets online will reserve your spot and make for a hassle-free and delightful experience.
The giant bronze doors guarding the Basilica have been taken from the Roman Senate Forum and are older than the Church itself. The entrance has a 7-meter-tall statue of Jesus, surrounded by his saints and disciples. The Latin inscription declares, “Christo Salvatori.”
One of the most noteworthy highlights of the Lateran Basilica is the towering Egyptian obelisk in front of the northern facade. It originally belonged to the Karnak Temple in Egypt. Much later, it was sent to Constantinople and then erected at Circus Maximus.
As you step through the entrance, you will be enchanted by the sight of St John’s long five naves, separated by towering marble columns. The golden painting above symbolizes Pagan traditions like doves holding an olive branch, laurel, and crossed palms.
The Altar of the Sacrament could either have been shipped from Jerusalem or could be an adaptation of the Pagan Altar in the Capitoline Jupiter Temple. One of the most poignant relics in the Basilica is the wood fragment contained in the tympanum. It is said to have been a part of the Last Supper table, where Jesus dined with his 12 Apostles.
The cloister adjacent to the Lateran Archbasilica is almost 36 meters wide on both sides. They were carved by the Vassalletti, the most talented stonemasons of Rome. The most striking feature of the Lateran cloister is not the statues or Roman gilded columns, but the intimacy and pinching silence of the 800-year-old establishment.
Originally established in the 4th century, the Baptistery connects to a church called St John in Fonte. A two-tier colonnade at the center of the structure gives it an octagonal shape and forms a dome. Throughout centuries, the mosaics have worn off and many artists like Borromini, Rainaldi, and Sacchi have left their frescoes on these walls.
Scala Sancta Stairs, also known as the Holy Stairs, are a series of 28 steps on the right side of the St. John entrance. They are believed to be the ones Jesus climbed on his way to Pontius Pilate’s Office during his trial. The walnut plates and rich layering of frescoes are the main highlights of these stairs.
Pilgrims undertake the evocative Sancta Stairs journey on their knees to this day. Upon reaching a thick glass wall at the top, pilgrims can see the most sacred place of Christianity, the chapel of St. Lawrence. It functioned as the personal chapel of the early Popes of the Lateran Palace.
The Achiropita, literally meaning ‘not created by mankind’ is a painting located inside the chapel that shows Jesus holding the New Testament. Its origin is unknown, however this ancient relic has been around since the 8th century. The silver and gold wrappings over this fresco is awe-inspiring.
Monday to Sunday: 9 AM to 5 PM
Sancta Stairs and Sancta Sanctorum Timings:
Monday to Saturday: 9 AM to 1 PM, 3 PM to 5 PM
Sunday: 3 PM to 5 PM
Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Find on Maps
A. Yes, you can buy the St. John Lateran tickets online.
A. The best way to buy the St. John Lateran tickets is to purchase them online.
A. Get great deals and attractive discounts on booking the St. John Lateran tickets online.
A. The St. John Lateran Tour with Audio Guide lasts for approximately an hour and 30 minutes.
A. There is no entrance fee for the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.
A. The open space outside the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is used for a concert on the 1st of May (Labor Day). It might be difficult to walk around the area on that day.
A. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran was originally built by an influential house in Rome called the Lateran family. Suspected of treason, Emperor Nero seized the Lateran Complex and the first Catholic Roman Emperor gave it to the Church.
A. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is the oldest church in the West. It houses several Holy relics. Its rich historicity is marked by renowned painters and sculptors from the ancient Roman to the Neoclassical era.
A. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is located on Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy.
A. The best way to reach the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is to grab a metro from Line A and get down at Vittorio Emanuele or San Giovanni.
A. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is open for public viewing from 9 AM to 5 PM.
A. The Sancta Stairs and Sancta Sanctorum, St John’s five naves, the Cloister and Baptistery buildings, and numerous other frescoes, paintings, and sculptures attract plenty of visitors to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran year after year.
A. There are ramps inside and outside the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran for wheelchair visitors.
A. Photography without flash is permitted inside the cathedral.
A. The pleasant weather and peak tourist season during the months of April to May and September to October make it the best time to visit the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.
A. The Roman Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Baths of Caracalla, and the Vatican Museum are some of the attractions near the Lateran Archbasilica.