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St. Clement Basilica, Rome

(3,600+ reviews on the web)
Church
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
  • Excellent kids under 16 are free! It was built in the 1st century then 2 more churches were built on top. Great place when raining takes around an hour to walk around.  more »
  • In a city filled with beautiful, historic places--- historic and impressive church after exquisite church, this really stands out for me. We did not spend a lot of time in the present day church, but ...  more »
  • The excavations showing 6 layers of civilization are incredible. I especially liked seeing the Mithras altar--one of the "Mystery Cults" mentioned in the Bible.  more »
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.