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St. Clement Basilica, Rome

(4.6/5 based on 3,600+ reviews on the web)
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. Take a look at our Rome trip itinerary planner to schedule your visit to St. Clement Basilica and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The church is located about 5 mins from the Colosseum. It beautiful but make sure you go to the archeological site below! They have excavated below the church to expose the Pagan church and temple in ...  more »
  • A fascinating visit that projects us back through the centuries. The present basilica is located in Colosseum leader. The basilica of distinct and overlapping all three floors open to the public. The descent is easy and at the same time fascinating. You go down in the ancient basilica through a picturesque path expertly lit and full of history and charm. Further down you come downstairs where they discover ancient buildings and where you will come across an underground stream and a waterfall that flows into the bowels of the Earth and that surprises us about the noise and the continuity of the flow rate. After touring for the premises of the ancient dwellings rises to the surface. A stroll through the hidden city that I would recommend maybe making sure to first read the history of the modern Basilica and of what lies beneath it.
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  • We were on our last visit to the city twice here. Part of a guided tour through the underground Rome and then again in the course of a mosaic walk (look at mosaic in the apse, as well as beautiful floor mosaics!). Overall my third and fourth visit. San Clemente is a top tourist attraction in Rome. Today's Church with its barockisiertem Interior and the atrium as well as the "basement". It was built here the oldest church on the even older Temple of Mithras, the younger Church on the older church. The Mithras cult at the time of the Romans similarities with Christianity had, which is why "mother church" here then also inspired read.
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Google
  • Not usually on the "must-see" lists for a first time visit to Rome - but well worth it. We came here on recommendation from our Colosseum tour guides. Pay the extra admission to tour the excavations - it's a fascinating step through time. The current church was built on top of an older Christian church, which itself was built on top a pagan temple and ancient Roman housing. Add this to your "must-see" list - it's fascinating.
  • This 12th century basilica lies atop the remains of a 4th century church over a 1st century shrine to Mithras!!! So cool, and you can walk through the archaeological site for free (I think there's an optional extra section for a price, but I was so pleased with the standard route). Beautiful insets of porphyry and serpentine. Absolutely stunning.
  • Beautiful basilica. Splendid floor mosaic! The archaeological visit of the basements would better guide the visitor.
  • Beautiful place. I has one of the few surviving mithraeums in Rome.
  • Well worth the visit. Much prettier than many other basilicas in Rome.