Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome. Legend has it that the Virgin Mary appeared to Pope Liberius and the patrician Giovanni Patrizio on August 4, 352 (or 358), instructing them to build a church on the Esquiline Hill. However, it was likely built in the early 5th century. It was restored and renovated in the 18th century and has one of the best-preserved Byzantine interiors in the city.

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