The Mother of all churches in Rome and the world

The Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, more commonly known as St. John Lateran, is the oldest church in the western world. It was built during the pontificate of Pope Miltiades on a property belonging to the Lateran family, and donated by Constantine as a sign of his gratitude to Christ after the victory over Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on October 28th, 312.
One thousand years later, in the year 1300, the first Jubilee in history was proclaimed here. During the Jubilee of the year 1423, Pope Martin V opened the Holy Door for the first time, a ceremony which was later extended to other Basilicas. The Holy Stairs, located on the eastern side of the Square, are part of what remains of the old Lateran Palace. Identified by tradition with the stairs of the Praetorium of Pilate on which Jesus is said to have walked for questioning before being crucified, it was installed in 1586, by order of Pope Sixtus V, to provide access to the papal chapel, the Sancta Sanctorum, so called because of the many relics it houses.

St. John Lateran served as the Papal residence until the nineteenth century, and is currently the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical see of the Bishop of Rome.

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Discover with us the Lateran Complex accompanied by a multilingual audioguide or by a specialized guide

Lateran Complex with Audioguide

  • Audioguide languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish.

Guided Tour

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St. Peter's Office
Palazzo dei Propilei

Piazza Pio XII, 9 (Piazza San Pietro) - 00193 Roma

Opening to public

Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm


Call an operator

+39 06 69896.1

From Monday to Friday

9 AM - 1 PM and 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM 



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