The Church of Santa Maria Antiqua was built in the 6th century in the ruins of the Annex of Tiberius’ Palace. It is located on the Vicus Tuscus just behind the Temple of Castor and Pollux at the foot of the Palatine Hill.
The church was decorated by frescoes, commissioned by several popes, until it was abandoned in the mid 9th century, because an earthquake increased the risks of landslides from the Palatine Hill.
In the church is a substantial number of frescoes from the 6th to the 9th century.
In the 13th century another church, the Santa Maria Liberatrice, was constructed in front of the rooms. This church was demolished in 1900 to uncover the previous structures.
The rooms are not normally open to visits.
- Department of Archaeology of Rome: Project Santa Maria Antiqua
- Churches of Rome: Santa Maria Antiqua