Two Facades – Haiku 2022 #ThursdayDoors

Main Entrance: Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome – Image credit: fonderiamarinelli

twofold facade

draws faith’s substance in snow

unseen’s big reveal


Built on the highest of Rome’s seven hills (Esquiline Hill) and shrouded in myth by what some say was the strange occurrence of snowfall one night in the height of summer on August 4-5, stands the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Consecrated in AD 432 Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore is a superlatively lavish 246 feet high (75m) architectural jewel.

These bronze doors are a relatively new addition having been crafted and installed in 1947 – 1949. There is a second facade behind the facade flanking the present-day doors. The original facade (see below) was redesigned and partly covered over, scuttling the original doors, centuries ago.

Trivia: According to persistent centuries-old rumors, Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore’s gold-covered ceiling is from gold that Christopher Columbus brought back to Spain from his first voyage to the New World. Those rumors are perhaps fueled by the fact that the King of Spain has and continues to be this basilica’s generous patron.


Closeup details – Main entrance, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore below:

Main doors, Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore – Image credit: fonderiamarinelli

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore’s original facade is pictured below in a 1610 artist’s painting:

Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome in 1610. Original painting by Willem van Nieulandt (1584-1635). Public domain image

Wider angle Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, modern-day facade below:

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore – Image credit:  NikonZ711 / Wikimedia CC 4.0

Written for #ThursdayDoors – Dan Antion @ No Facilities

Published by Suzette Benjamin

Positive thinker, inspirational, writer, faith

49 thoughts on “Two Facades – Haiku 2022 #ThursdayDoors

  1. I love the way you capture the spirit in a few words in your lovely poem. The history of the church is fascinating. I also have a church today that we can only see in it’s original state in some early artwork. History owes a lot to the artists of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dan for your discerning read of the poem.
      Yes, I am always delughted to see preserved lithographs and artwork of a building’s history. And, indeed we are indebted to the labors of those who recorded the monuments of their times.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the background story to these beautifully engraved doors and the history of the church they are attached to.

    As always you magically capture the pivotal narrative and essence of this church and her doors with your moving haiku.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Glad to hear that. You know its the posts that one almost did not share that gets the most notice. As it was in this case. I almost did not post this one. Now, I am glad I did. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always adore your β€˜doors poems’ as you and I have discussed. This one reminds me of the many layered mysteries and stories hidden behind these grand doors, and also inside their carefully crafted beauty. Lovely poem, Suzette.

    Liked by 1 person

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