Saint Clement's Basilica
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- 98%History Buffs
- 98%Local Culture
- 81%Art & Design Lovers
- 79%Family Travelers
- 71%Spiritual Seekers
- 71%Budget Travelers
Member Reviews (12)
- Saint Clement's BasilicaMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersFoodies+ 7First to ReviewOct 12, 2012
The Basilica of San Clemente is one of Rome's more interesting and lesser known gems. It's an excavation all in itself. You enter at ground level and think, oh, whatever, baroque church, blah blah blah. But then, you get to descend to a very well preserved Medieval church on the level below. Two churches, built one on top of the other! But wait...further down, you descend into a dark and cold 1st century Mithraic temple. So that's 3 churches, stacked right up. Apparently they were discovered by a priest in the Renaissance who peered through a hole in the wall in the top chapel. Fascinating stuff, and one of my favorite Roman sights.
- Saint Clement's BasilicaMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 2Feb 23, 2014
The church itself is nothing much to see, but the underground crypts are. Venture beneath the church to see a pagan temple repurposed for Catholic ritual. There are tombs and arches and corridors that lead every which way. It's not a massive labyrinth, but it's a fun little detour. Head down far enough, and you'll see where fresh mountain water runs beneath the city.
- Saint Clement's BasilicaMember ofStudentsFoodiesLuxury Travelers+ 2Aug 26, 2013
Not so famous on the Roman guides and must-see, this basilica is definitely a must see. In fact it is 3 superposed basilicas constructed over time, so you enter the most recent one, than go downstairs to the second, and to once more to the third base where you arrive to the level of the water. in one word IMPRESSING.
- Saint Clement's BasilicaMember ofStudentsLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 11Sep 19, 2013
History buffs will drool over visiting Saint Clement's Basilica, a church on top of a church, on top of a church. Accidental excavations revealed a 4th century A.D. church underneath the medieval basilica, which just happens to be directly on top of a 1st century A.D. Mithraic chapel.
- Saint Clement's BasilicaCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureFoodiesBackpackers+ 4Aug 10, 2013
I absolutely loved the Basilica di San Clemente! It's like traveling through time as you go down the layers. At times, I was the only one in each room, making the effect especially spooky. Here's a fun tip: Stand behind the altar in the early Christian temple and imagine what it might've been like to be a Priest in those days addressing your congregation.
- Saint Clement's BasilicaMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBusiness Travelers+ 1Sep 10, 2012
Saint Clement's Basilica is another almost literally incredible church in Rome (the Capuchin Crypt being another). It's not just one church. It's a church built on a church built on a church built on a church, going back to the first century AD. As you tour the church, you descend in time.
The top layer is a 12th century cathedral or the variety that you've probably seen all over the place. It's hard to be in Europe and not find one of these. Under that, though, is a 4th century church, not as fancy as the top level, but still serviceable. You keep descending to a 1st century Christian hide out (hey, it's 1st century!). By that point, you realize that the oppressive Roman heat isn't a problem anymore. It's actually cool and comfortable down there, even a little damp. But, you're not done. There's cult chambers under that.
It's a bit of a walk from the Colosseum, but it's worth it.
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Aliases: Basilica di San Clemente