The Archbasilica of the Most Sacred Saviour and the Saints John the Baptist and 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, donated to the Pope by Constantine as a sign of his gratitude to Christ after the victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312.
Papal residence until the nineteenth century is currently the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome
One thousand years later, in 1300, the first Jubilee in history was proclaimed here and later, during the Jubilee of 1423, Pope Martin V opened the Holy Door for the first time, a ceremony which was later also extended to other Basilicas. The Holy Stairs, located on the eastern side of the Square, are part of what remains of the old St John Lateran Palace. Identified by tradition with the stairs of the Praetorium of Pilate on which Jesus is said to have walked for questioning before the crucifixion, 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 guided tour info
Lateran Complex with Audioguide
Individual adult rate € 10,00
The rate includes: “Roma Cristiana” assistance and the multilingual audioguide for the visit into the Basilica of St John Lateran, Cloister, Baptistery, Scala Santa, Sancta Sanctorum and the Treasure Museum.
Cloister with audioguide
Individual adult rate € 5,00
The rate includes: “Roma Cristiana” assistance and the multilingual audioguide only for the visit into the Cloister and the Treasure Museum.