San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Rome

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  • bronze door by Antonio Maraini
    bronze door by Antonio Maraini
    by croisbeauty
  • baldacchino
    baldacchino
    by croisbeauty
  • the interiors
    the interiors
    by croisbeauty
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    The tomb of St Paul.

    by breughel Updated Feb 15, 2014

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    San Paolo - tombstone
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    If the basilica is so sumptuous, and this since the 4th c., it is by no doubt because the Apostle Paul, in fact the number two of the Church, is buried here.
    It was under Nero, around 64, that the decapitated Apostle Paul - he had this privilege being a Roman citizen - was buried along the Via Ostiense leading to the port of Ostia.
    According to the uses in Rome people were buried along the roads leaving the city; the best known example to-day being the tombs along the Via Appia Antica.

    Presently the shrine of St Paul is located at the junction of the nave and transept under the "ciborium". The pilgrims go down there by a double staircase. The tomb of the Apostle Paul is hidden behind a grid under a marble flagstone from the 4th c.
    A reproduction of this marble flagstone is visible with the details in the small museum which is next to the sacristy.
    The stone on which is written “PAULO APOSTOLIMART” is about 2,10 x 1,30 m and placed 4,50 m above the actual sarcophagus of the Saint. The largest hole in the stone is used to descend a censer in the tomb. By the other two smaller holes pilgrims would introduce objects in the tomb which were then kept for worship.
    Carbon dating tests (June 2009) on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus confirmed that they date from the first or second century.

    Interesting are also the wooden statues from the 14th c. which decorate the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament on the left of the apse.
    The Basilica has increased its services to visitors and pilgrims: book and souvenirs shops, large toilets, and cafeteria.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    San Paolo fuori le mura - Cloister.

    by breughel Updated Nov 3, 2012

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    San Paolo fuori le mura - Cloister double columns.
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    Adjacent to the Basilica stands the imposing "Abbazia di San Paolo fuori le mura" a still active Benedictine Abbey 1300 years old. The entire monastic complex as that of the basilica does not belong to the Italian Republic, but it is an extraterritorial area belonging to the Holy See.

    The cloister "Chiostro" unites the Basilica and the Abbey and is open to the public. This is very fortunate because the cloister is one of the wonders of the 13th c. Rome. It is famous for its double columns of different shapes erected on a marble base. Some columns have inlays with gilded and colored-glass mosaics. They limit the four ambulatory, with above them the arches and the epistyle also decorated with mosaics.

    On my visits in Italy or Spain I never hesitate to enter the cloisters adjacent to the monumental churches. Usually they are much quieter than the churches with their groups of tourists and I especially like the combination of a garden with fountain, the sky with the towers of the church and a touch of spirituality.

    About the Basilica see A major Roman Basilica and Tomb of St Paul

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    A major Roman Basilica.

    by breughel Updated Nov 3, 2012

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    San Paolo fuori le Mura - Nave.
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    On a rainy winter day I took the opportunity to visit this major basilica which I had not seen during my previous stays in Rome. I knew that the basilica of St Paul had been entirely rebuilt after the fire of 1823, and thus expected to see a somewhat banal remake, during the 19th century, of the original church. I was mistaken and much amazed when I discovered this architectural wonder.

    I entered by the large transept at the Via Ostensie near the clock tower and already in this part of the Basilica I got lost in admiration looking up at the coffered ceiling with his blazons of the popes.

    When I arrived in the middle of the transept I could discover in the darkness the immense nave divided into five aisles by 80 imposing monolithic columns made of granite.
    The Basilica of Saint-Paul is imposing by the force of its proportions and the relative simplicity of its decoration. It preserved the plans of a Roman Empire basilica since it was built on order of the emperor Constantine in the 4th century.
    I found a drawing showing how the Basilica looked after the fire of 1823. Actually the "Ciborio" above the Tomb of St Paul was preserved from the destruction.

    The frontage is preceded by a large atrium surrounded by colonnades. This part dates from the 19th and 20th C.
    The cloister, on the right of the transept, is remarkable by the elegance of the small columns of various forms decorated with pieces of marble and gildings.

    During my visit in 2012 I saw that since my first visit in 2007 the Basilica has increased its services to visitors: book and souvenirs shops, large toilets, and cafeteria


    Open 7 - 18 h. Free entrance.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jul 1, 2012

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    Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls
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    The Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls is one of Rome's four ancient major basilicas or papal basilicas: the basilicas of St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Peter's and Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
    The basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over the burial place of Saint Paul, where it was said that, after the Apostle's execution, his followers erected a memorial, called a cella memoriae.
    In 1823 a fire, started through the negligence of a workman who was repairing the lead of the roof, resulted in the almost total destruction of the basilica
    It was re-opened in 1840, and reconsecrated 1855. Completing the works of reconstruction took longer, however, and many countries made their contributions. The Emperor of Russia sent the precious malachite and lapis lazuli of the tabernacle.

    You can watch my 4 min 05 sec Video Rome St Paul's Basilica out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    San Paolo Fuori le Mura III

    by croisbeauty Updated Sep 12, 2011

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    the interiors
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    The basilica is split into five naves and adorned by long line of columns among which a mystic light flows from the double row od alabaster windows. Above the windows is Renaissance styled ceiling in white and gold. Between the windows and the columns is unending series of medallions portraying all the popes from St. Peter to John Paul II. At the end, under the triumphal arch, is the lovely canopy in front of the golden msaics in the apse.
    The four alabaster columns supported magnificent canopy by Poletti, which is covered the tabernacle by Arnolfo di Cambio.
    The mosaic on the triumphal arch dates to the 5th century and was ordered by the Empress Galla Placidia.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    San Paolo Fuori Mura

    by croisbeauty Updated Sep 12, 2011

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    the mosaic facade
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    Basilica San Paolo Fuori Mura is probably the finest church of Rome, built over the tomb of St. Paul who was also known as the Apostle of the People. The first church over his tomb was built the the Emperor Constantine and later in the 4th century much larger basilica was built, begun by Theodosius and then around mid of 5th century restored and decorated by Placidus. The basilica was destroyed in fire in 1823 and rebuilt again in 1854 by Pope Pius IX.
    The magnificent four sided portico suggests a typical Roman styled basilica, and in its center stands the statue of St. Paul. The mosaic facade glitters in gold and bright colours. The bronze door, in the portico, from 1930 is work of Antonio Maraini.

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    St Paul's Outside the Walls

    by Tom_Fields Written Dec 20, 2009

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    St Paul's Outside the Walls
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    Saul of Tarsus was an educated Jew, and a Roman citizen, who vigorously persecuted the early Christians. Legend has it that he had a strange vision on the road to Damascus, where an angel of the Lord appeared to him and asked why he was persecuting them. He converted, and virtually took over the new Christian movement. With his education, and freedom to travel, he played a key role in organizing the Christian churches. After that, Christianity was no longer an off-shoot of Judaism, but a brand new faith. Saul changed his name to Paul.

    He was beheaded under the Emperor Nero, about 65-70 AD; as a Roman citizen, he couldn't be crucified (that was for non-Romans and slaves). As was the custom, it took place outside the city walls. In the early 4th century, under the Christian Emperor Constantine, the execution site was chosen for a basilica in honor of St Paul. Pope Sylvester consecrated it in 324. Later expansions occured over the centuries.

    A fire in 1823 destroyed the basilica, but it was carefully restored. The portico, with 128 columns, was added in 1928. The circular portraits of the Popes go all around the interior. It is said that when the last one is filled in, and that last Pope dies, then the world will end (I can't remember how many are left).

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    San Paolo Fuori Mura

    by stevemt Updated Sep 5, 2008

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    The row of Popes
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    This (basilica actually) is a little way out of the centre of Rome, but well worth the effort.

    It is the 2nd largest Basilica in Rome and features some wonderful art.

    Many of the colums in the cloister areas are wonderfully detailed as well.

    An interesting point is the head portraits of all the popes at the top or the walls.

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  • gigina's Profile Photo

    St. Paul's outside the walls Basilica

    by gigina Written Aug 30, 2008

    About 2 Km away on the Via Ostiense rises the Basilica St. Paul outside the walls, built over the burial place of the Apostle of the Gentiles and consecrated in 324. The building of the first place of worship over St. Paul's tomb has been attributed to the Emperor Constantine. A larger basilica was erected by the Emperors Valentiniano II, Theodosius and Arcadius. Destroyed by fire in 1823, it was rebuilt on the same foundations and consecrated by Pope Pius IX.

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  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    St Paul's Outside the Wall

    by fishandchips Updated Oct 3, 2007

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    St Paul's
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    The Basilica of St. Paul origins go back to the time of Constantine, and is believed to have been erected over the tomb of St. Paul - a very controversial character - see below for more.

    The basilica fell victim to fire in 1823 and was subsequently rebuilt. It is the second-largest church in Rome after St. Peter's. Its windows are actually translucent alabaster and are very impressive. With its forest of single-file columns and mosaic medallions (portraits of the various popes), this is one of the most streamlined and elegantly decorated churches in Rome.

    Its most important treasure is a 12th-century candelabra by Vassalletto, who's also responsible for the remarkable cloisters, containing twisted pairs of columns enclosing a rose garden. Also interesting is a copy of the tombstone that has been faithfully recreated including holes where people tried to get into the grave.

    For a keepsake, Benedictine monks and students sell souvenirs, rosaries, and bottles of Benedictine every day except Sunday and religious holidays.

    Controversial bit - St Paul (aka Saul of Tarsus) in theory never met Jesus and was a rampant Christian killer for quite some time (christianity was illegal back then and he reported suspected christians to the authorities). Whilst on the road to Damascus he had a 'vision of light' in which the spirit of Jesus spoke with Saul and turned him from the Dark Side. More controversial bit - One school of though is that Saul was really a charismatic leader who created the Catholic church based on a myth about a roving Rabbi called Jesus.

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  • Redang's Profile Photo

    Basilica di S. Paolo fuori le mura (3)

    by Redang Written Feb 17, 2007

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    Basilica di S. Paolo fuori le mura (Rome, Italy)
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    Fuori le mura means ouside the wall. It's a bit far from the centre of Rome, but it is worth visiting this basilica, just take the metro. It hosts the ramains of S. Paolo.

    Address
    Via Ostiense, 186

    Metro: Basilica S. Paolo (line B).

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    Basilica di S. Paolo fuori le mura (2)

    by Redang Updated Feb 17, 2007

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    Basilica S. Paolo fuori le mura (Rome, Italy)
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    Fuori le mura means ouside the wall. It's a bit far from the centre of Rome, but it is worth visiting this basilica, just take the metro. It hosts the ramains of S. Paolo.

    Address
    Via Ostiense, 186

    Metro: Basilica S. Paolo (line B).

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  • Redang's Profile Photo

    Basilica di S. Paolo fuori le mura (1)

    by Redang Updated Feb 17, 2007

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    Basilica S. Paolo fuori le mura (Rome, Italy)
    4 more images

    Fuori le mura means ouside the wall. It's a bit far from the centre of Rome, but it is worth visiting this basilica, just take the metro. It hosts the ramains of S. Paolo.

    Address
    Via Ostiense, 186

    Metro: Basilica S. Paolo (line B).

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  • Applelyn's Profile Photo

    San Paolo Fuori Le Mura

    by Applelyn Updated Dec 7, 2006

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    San Paolo Fuori Le Mura
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    It is erected in IVth century by Emperor Constantine. Under the church laid the tomb of ST Paul--the Apostle of Gentiles. Around the 15th and 16th July 1823, there was a huge fire that destroyed the church and its contents. Very few items such as the cloisters of the adjacent Benedictine abbey, survived the fire. When Pope Leo XII became the Pope, he reconstructed it to its glory. I love this church as it is a painting by itself with pictures "imprinted" into the bricks. My heart just filled with joy when I saw the vibrant colours. Such artwork is a miracle and the people involved in making it possible must have taken great pride in what they are doing. I like the medalions that depicted each individual Pope. Look out for the Easter Candlestick which also survived the fire. It is made of marble and created to hold the Easter Candle, the symbol of Christ as the "light of the world". The whole church is just an artwork. Unique! Fantastico!

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  • fdrich29's Profile Photo

    St. Paul Outside the Walls (Basilica di San Paolo

    by fdrich29 Written Nov 4, 2006

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    St. Paul's Basillica
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    This was the first thing that caught my eye when driving from DaVinci Airport to our hotel on Nazionalle. I knew that would be something to check out while we were in Rome, although I didn't know what it was. I inquired at our hotel and they told me it was St. Paul's Basillica and we decided to visit after our second trip to the Vatican. We didn't go into the Basillica itself, just walked around the grounds, which are breathtaking. The statue of St. Paul quietly demands attention and respect. The colors of the paintings on the Basillica are vibrant and quite beautiful.

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