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St. Clement Basilica, Rome

4.6
#14 of 249 in Historic Sites in Rome
Church Tourist Spot
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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Where to stay in Rome

For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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Google
4.5
  • Not one of the most popular places of interest in Rome so the lines are not bad. 12th-century church built on top of a 4th-century church built on top of a 1st-century church. We enjoyed seeing the di...  more »
  • We visited this church for two reasons; one, the Mithraeum under it, and two, it features heavily (disguised as San Tommaso) in Dame Ngaio Marsh's detective novel "When in Rome" which is a favourite o...  more »
  • This was one of my most favorite Catholic Churches in Rome! The Crucifix with the doves is absolutely magnificent! Do go through the underground scavi. You will feel the holiness of martyrs there.  more »
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  • Very interesting, but also very overpriced at €10. This would be 5 stars at half that price. Essentially it's a brilliant example of how Rome has evolved, how buildings are reused and how you never know what might be beneath your feet. However they provide very little information about what you're seeing.
  • Very nice to check the details that are different from the other church like the floor and ceiling. But I found it very disturbing and annoying to see people taking pictures inside and the guide was not saying anything. It is very clear that no photo shooting, bit still many either brain damaged or has self constrain issue are taking pictures without feeling uncomfortable
  • WALK IN A STREET FROM JESU's TIME. 3 layers of the history on top of each other. If you want to see only one church in Rome this is a good choice. Take care of the handsome man at the entrance that looks like an official ticketman - it's a beggar. You buy tickets inside the church where there is a possibility to get down to the 2 other layers of history.
  • Beautiful mosaic in the church as well as a Mithraeum underground worth checking out
  • 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.