Catacombs and St Paul-outside-the-walls
The catacombs developed in the 2nd century and were in use until the 5th century. Originally only burial places, they later became the shrines of the early martyrs buried there.
On our tour you will learn about the origins of Christianity, the persecutions and the eventual legalisation by Constantine, culminating in its becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire.
The underground visit will take you through the ancient passageways lined with thousands of loculi (burial niches). You will see many ancient inscriptions showing the symbols used by the earliest Christians.
We will also visit the Basilica of St Paul-outside-the-Walls, built in the 4th century over the tomb of St Paul. As one of the 4 Papal Basilicas, this is an important pilgrimage church, opening its Holy Door only during Jubilee years.
The apse and altar area are richly decorated with mosaics from the 5th and 13th centuries, and the nave and aisles have mosaic portraits of every Pope from St Peter to Benedict XVI.
A car and driver are required for this tour.
Entry fees - €9 catacombs.
The underground portion of the visit last approximately 45 minutes, and is guided by one of the catacombs staff.
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