There are more than 900 churches in Rome, which makes it the city with the largest number of churches in the world. Most, but not all, of these are Catholic.
The first churches of Rome originated in places where Christians met. They were divided into three main categories:
See also: List of titular churches
Pope Marcellus I (A.D. 306–308) is said to have recognized twenty five tituli in the City of Rome, quasi dioecesis. It is known that in 336, Pope Julius I had set the number of presbyter cardinals to 28, so that for each day of the week, a different presbyter cardinal would say mass in one of the four major basilicas of Rome, St. Peter's, Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and Basilica of St. John Lateran. In Stephan Kuttner's view, "...the Roman cardinal priests and bishops were 'incardinated' for permanent (though limited) purposes into the patriarchal basilicas while remaining bound nonetheless to the churches of their original ordination."
Only the tituli were allowed to distribute sacraments.[dubious ] The most important priest in a titulus was given the name of Cardinal. Pope Marcellus I (at the beginning of the 4th century) confirmed that the tituli were the only centres of administration in the Church. In AD 499, a synod held by Pope Symmachus listed all the presbyters participating, as well as the tituli who were present at that time:
In the time of Pope Alexander II (1061-1073) those priests who served at St. Peter's Basilica were referred to as the seven cardinals of S. Peter's: septem cardinalibus S. Petri. The four basilicas had no cardinal, since they were under the direct supervision of the Pope. The Basilica of St. John Lateran was also the seat of the bishop of Rome. Traditionally, pilgrims were expected to visit all four basilicas, and San Lorenzo fuori le mura, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, and San Sebastiano fuori le mura which constituted the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. In the Great Jubilee in 2000, the seventh church was instead Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore as appointed by Pope John Paul II.
This is a list of churches of Rome cited in Wikipedia articles or with related files on Wikimedia Commons.
The churches are grouped according to the time of their initial construction: the dates are those of the first record of each church. The reader, however, should not expect the current fabric of the buildings to reflect that age, since over the centuries most have undergone reconstruction. Almost all the churches will thus appear considerably more recent, and as a patchwork of periods and styles.
Some interesting churches are now closed except on special occasions, such as weddings. These include: Santa Balbina, Santi Nereo e Achilleo, San Cesareo in Palatio and Sant'Urbano.