Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

 

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Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

In 61A.D. the Apostle Paul came to Rome to be tried by the court because of the Christian faith. He was sentenced to death and, according to legend, during the beheading his head rolled on the ground bouncing three times and letting out three sources. The Apostlewas buried in a Roman necropolis, and his tomb became a place of pilgrimage for all the centuries to come.

In 313, after the promulgation of the Edict of Milan which gave Christians freedom of worship, the EmperorConstantine decided to build a basilica on the tomb of Paul. But it soon proved to be too small to accommodate the large numbers of the Christians coming to visit it.

In its place was built the Basilica of St. Paul as we know it today: the largestpatriarchal basilica in Rome after St. Peter's in the Vatican.

All the popesin history have invested to adorn and enrich the Basilica from the earliest years. Mosaics, Frescoes and fortifications have been added in the centuries. Pope Gregory VII did realize the wonderful door panels engraved in silver foil. In 1285 the ciborium by Arnolfo di Cambio was built.

In 1823a fire seriously threatened it butthe central part remained undamaged and so the Basilica was rebuilt identical to the original with the use of the parts still intact.

In the Basilica itis worth stopping to visit the shrine, the art gallery, the lapidary collection and the archaeological area.

Information:

The Basilica is open every day from 07.00 to 18.30, free entry
• The Cloister is open daily from 08.00 to 18.15, admission € 4,00 (reduced € 2,00)

 

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