Visit the Basilica of Saint Clement and its underground: a magical place!
Rome is full of fantastic churches, history and monuments; one of the most beautiful churches in the city, but little visited is the Basilica of St Clement. The big surprise of this special church is its underground, which is worth a visit. Do you know this Basilica? No?? So in this post we will get to know the Basilica of St Clement and its underground! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
1) Visit the Basilica of Saint Clement and its underground: a magical place! – LEARN A LITTLE OF ITS HISTORY
A discreet door serves as the entrance to a church with more than two thousand years of history. In II A.D. the place where the church is today, was where it was located one of the largest mansions in Rome that belonged to Titus Flavius Clement, a Roman senator known for having converted to Christianity. At that time, the politician’s house was used to host some secret meetings to discuss religion, since it was forbidden to be a Christian at that time and there were persecutions of those who defended the gospel. Click here to see photos!
In the same place a small temple was built for Mitra, who was the god of the Sun, and the property was used for initiation rituals; years later a room was built in the mansion and, after the end of Christian persecution in A.D. 313, it became a basilica with the blessing of Pope Sirius.
2) Visit the Basilica of Saint Clement and its underground: a magical place! – ? ABOUT THE UNDERGROUND
In 1084, with the Norman invasion, the church was damaged by looting and was abandoned, being ‘buried’ 5 meters below street level. In 1108 they completed the work that built another church above the old one, it was built by order of Pope Pascual II and it is the one we saw today. The first excavations started in 1857, and it was there that the underground structure ‘emerged’. Digging deeper, they discovered items from the 1st century AD.
The Interior of the Basilica and its Underground
But let’s talk about its spectacular interior and its underground: anyone who sees it from the outside, simple and discreet, cannot imagine the amount of history that is hidden behind that little door! The rich decoration highlights several mosaics dating from the 12th century. It is possible to access up to two basements.
In the first basement there are numerous marble plates with Latin words, columns in pieces, frescoes and some mosaics. You can’t say that everything is very well maintained, but you can get an idea of what it was all about. There, one of the mosaics that deserves to be highlighted is that of St Cyril. The saint, along with his brother, St Methodius, created the Cyrillic alphabet, which is still used today in Slavic languages. They say that St. Cyril died in Rome and was buried there in the Basilica.
In the second basement there are mainly the remains of the old mansion. Passing through the sacristy it is already possible to see the 4th century church; the environment is cold, dark and humid, but the view is impressive and still leaves several mosaics visible. There are several environments that can be visited (including the temple to Mitra) and you can also see the water running through the main sewage system in Ancient Rome, the so-called Cloaca Maxima.
Entry to the church is FREE, but 10 euros are required to visit its underground.
- Official website: www.basilicasanclemente.com/ita/
- Address: Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma RM, Italy. (It is approximately a 7-minute walk from the Colosseum to the Basilica), you can get off at the Colosseo Metro.
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Visit the Basilica of Saint Clement and its underground: a magical place! – Even the smallest door in Rome can hide unimaginable beauty, history and treasures! And if you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier.
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