Basilica of Saint Paul in Rome

Basilica of Saint Paul in Rome

Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the city. It was built over the burial site of Saint Paul (one of the Apostils of Christ) and for this reason draws a vast number of pilgrims and tourist every year.

Basilica of Saint Paul in Rome is one of 5 papal basilicas in the city. As the legend goes, it was constructed on the burial site of Saint Paul one of the Apostils of Christ. The full name of the basilica is: “Basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura”, which means Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls. The name comes from the fact that this basilica is located outside the Aurelian walls that were built around the city by Imperator Aurelius between 270 and 275 AD, as a defensive strategy from barbarian invasions.
This Basilica is one of the main pilgrimage sites of the Catholic Church since it is believed that the whole complex was built on top of the burial site of Saint Paul. It served as a place of refuge for the early Christians, but also as a place for prayers. After the Edict of Milan (which ended the persecutions of Christians) Imperator Constantine built the first basilica on this location around 324AD. This basilica was enlarged during the period between 384 and 395 by three imperators: Theodosius, Valentinian II and Arcadius, and over the time, many additional features were added to the basilica.

Ticket prices for Basilica of Saint Paul in Rome
The entrance to the basilica is FREE of charge.
The entrance to the monastery, art gallery and archeological area is 4€, reduced price is 2€.

Working hours of Basilica of Saint Paul in Rome
From Monday to Sunday working hours of the basilica are: 7:00-18:30h.

Interesting facts

  • According to the legend, Saint Paul (one of the Apostils of Christ) reached Rome in 61 AD where he was condemned to a death penalty (between 65 and 67 AD) by the Roman tribunal only for being a Christian. The sentence was carried out around 3 kilometers away from the burial site. Nowadays, underneath the Papal Altar in the basilica there is a marble plate of dimension 2.12 x 1.27m with inscriptions PAOLO APOSTOLO MART, which marks the spot where the saint was buried.
  • The chains with which Saint Paul was supposedly tied to a Roman soldier while awaiting his sentence are also exhibited inside the basilica.
  • On 15th July 1823, Basilica of San Paolo was completely destroyed in a fire. Basilica was later rebuilt in the same style it used to be, using all the materials that could be salvaged.

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