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Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Rome - Italy

Customer:  Endesa Foundation
Project:  Enel X


Of all the many different art forms, mosaic is probably the one most dependent on light. The great masters of the Middle Ages, rather than laying the tesserae flat, laid them at different angles in order to enhance the way the way they would reflect light. Rome’s Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is home to some of the most spectacular and famous mosaics in the Eternal City. These deserved, in fact, to have just the right light shed upon them, something achieved by the new lighting system created by Enel Sole, the Enel X company specialising in public and artistic lighting, with the support of the Fondazione Endesa.

Another aspect to which we paid particular attention was the creation of different types of lighting for different occasions, which range from the daily liturgies to the most solemn papal masses celebrated on the Papal Altar: Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four Major Papal Basilicas. The lighting in the Basilica was modernised first and foremost for aesthetic reasons. The previous system did not include optics specific to the various architectural and artistic features and could not be adjusted. In some instances, the lighting was also far too bright. The new set-up, on the other hand, provides adequate, adjustable lighting with the spotlights installed in as subtle a manner as possible unlike their predecessors, which were quite visually intrusive.

This amazing result was achieved with our BE P4 projectors, which enclose the state of the art in terms of advanced LED technology and color rendering of colors in a super-compact and minimally body. Thanks to the Sled technology it's possible to mix different optics in the same projector and highlight the important mosaics of the Basilica. Finally, the DALI drivers allow maximum light control and the creation of different scenarios.

"There are three reasons why this is one of the most special places in the world. It is the largest church in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary; it has been under the protection of the Spanish Crown since the reign of Charles I; the Holy Father comes here to pray all alone, before and after every trip. It is thus an honour and a source of pride for the Fondazione Endesa to light this Basilica" Borja Prado - Chairman of Endesa and the Fondazione Endesa

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Products used in this project