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St. Clement Basilica, Rome

4.6
#14 of 459 in Historic Sites in Rome
To see three ancient churches built on top of one another, visit St. Clement Basilica. The present church in this three-tiered complex was erected just before 1100. Beneath it, a fourth-century structure once included a basement meant to serve as a mithraeum, a place of worship for the followers of the ancient mystery religion called Mithraism. Below that structure is yet another edifice, built on the foundations of an even older building that had been destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE. The present church was transformed over the centuries from a private house, once the site of clandestine Christian worship, to a grand public basilica that has been expanded and renovated to reflect the Roman Catholic church's growing legitimacy and power. As you explore, listen for the sounds of the underground river flowing deep beneath the city. Plan your visit to St. Clement Basilica and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Rome vacation maker .
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St. Clement Basilica Reviews
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  • We loved this visit as the humble exterior hides a glorious interior with newly renovated mosaics, frescoes, and marble floors and decorations. But the real surprise is the visit underground where you...  more »
  • A tour with a GUID "Laura" has declared us all super did. 16 m below the church you can see how it once was. The whole Church is beautiful. The San Clemente very interesting story. Worth a visit with someone who can tell all.
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  • A small church at the top of the hill Golf point a rocky slope through pine trees, pretty cute are going out.
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  • This is a quiet little church which had some really lovely pieces inside. There are no cameras, phones, or low cuts allowed but you should expect that. The church itself is very pretty on the inside with gold adornments and paintings lining the walls and ceiling. I'm not religious but this was a nice 10 minutes breather in the otherwise hectic area.
  • The main church is free but the 10 euros it costs to tour the two underground excavations is well worth it. (Children under 16 are free.) The signs are sometimes poorly lit, but we enjoyed our visit. Allow 1 hour if touring the excavations, 10 minutes for the main church.
  • This is a wonderfull building! It combines several distinctive periods and styles. The medieval mosaics in particular are stunning. Do not miss tomb of the St. Cyril / Constantine.
  • If you go all the way, down the stairs (you must pay a small entry fee), you can touch the water of the Roman waterworks. Very cold but quite an experience. Also one of the most beautiful mosiac floors I have ever seen in Italy. Look for the owl in the mosaics on top of the altare.
  • Opening times for visitors (including the excavations) are: Weekdays, 9:00 to 12:30, 15:00 to 18:00; Sundays, 12:15 to 18:00. If you see the doors open earlier or later than these times, it is because a Mass is being celebrated. You are not welcome to visit the church during Mass, unless you wish to attend it. Mass is celebrated: Weekdays at 8:00 and 18:30; Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00. The language used is Italian. On Mondays to Fridays the Rosary is recited at 18:00, before Mass. Note that the popularity of the church means that it is worked by beggars. When it is opened in the afternoon, you may have one of them pretending that there is an admission charge or donation. This is an amazing church -those with an interest in early Roman Christianity can spend hours here (I did). The excavations have an admission charge of ten euros -the church relies on this income. Tickets can be bought in the shop. Unlike in the catacombs, you can look around by yourself without a guide to supervise. On the other hand, this means that the rooms of the Mithraeum are gated and are only viewable from the doorways by ordinary visitors. The church has a policy of not allowing any photographs. Please buy the postcards etc if you want pictures. The staff can be serious about this.
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