Under the actual modern city of Rome are situated many not explored treasures, which help us to understand the development of the city. Moreover we have the possibility to enjoy art of remote time.
St. Mary Major – underground
“Hic fecit basilicam nomini suo iuxta Macellum Liviae”
With these words the Liber Pontificalis reports on the Roman Basilica St Mary Major, which according to legend was built by Pope Liberio in 352 on the spot where, on the 5th of August in that year, there was a miraculous snowfall.
Again, according to the book of the popes (Liber Pontificalis) the Basilica was built around the Macellum Liviae, a big butcher’s market.
The excavations carried out under the Basilica between 1966 and 1971 uncovered the perimeter of a Roman building with frescoes.
- Santi Cosma e Damiano
It was built in the “barbarous epoch” to the ancient Biblioteca Pacis, the library of the Peace Forum and decorated with a beautiful apse mosaic, which is one of the most ancient church mosaics in Rome. In the 3rd century the temple was dedicated to Penati and later to two oriental doctors. In the 17th century began the transformations of the great baroque artist Gianlorenzo Bernini.
- San Clemente
300 meters from the Colosseum away, behind the ruins of the gladiator school, is situated the Basilica of San Clemente. It is one of the most interesting churches in Rome, especially under archaeological aspects. San Clemente consists of two superposed churches; the crypt was found on two layers of Roman houses from the 1st and 2nd century AD., which served as base for the 4th century Basilica.
The early Christian cemeteries were all along the consular roads outside the old city walls, as statutory at that time. Few of the nearly 60 catacombs can be seen today. The vein systems extend up to four levels with up to 500,000 graves per catacomb. Along the Via Appia are the catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano, along Via Ardeatina we find the Catacombs of Domitilla and Santa Priscilla along the Via Salaria. The catacombs were used until the 5th century as burial sites; three centuries they were the target of Christian pilgrims.
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Your Carpediem guide in Rome