Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls (Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura) is one of Rome’s must see ancient basilicas and although it is off the beaten track it is well worth the effort. This basilica was founded by Constantine I, over the burial place of Saint Paul. His followers erected a memorial, and it was replaced by the breathtaking basilica.
Although the interior is stunning, you should take a moment to enjoy the exterior of the building as this is just as magnificent. The quadriportico is imposing as it stretches 70 meters and has 150 impressive columns. In the centre stands a majestic statue of Saint Paul which was sculpted by Giuseppe Obici. Beautiful mosaics decorate the façade, which decipt several different scenes, including a lamb surrounded by four rivers. These are believed to symbolize the four gospels, and the 12 lambs represent the 12 apostles.
The moment you step inside this fascinating building, you will be speechless, as both the size and beauty are magnificent. The church is easily the size of a football pitch, and the main attraction is of course the tomb. This is situated towards the front of the building and is easy to find, typically there are many people waiting to visit.
You may also want to visit the exhibition area which is fascinating, and has several compelling exhibits on offer. In the chapel of Relics, you can discover the chain that was used to hold Apostle Paul to his guards during his forced imprisonment.
The picture gallery is peaceful and has many precious paintings, some which are incredibly rare. Regardless of why you have chosen to visit Rome, this is one attraction that you should not miss, and once you have seen what is on offer at Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, you will be glad that you found the time.
Piazzale San Paolo, 1, 00146 Rome, Italy
Everyday from 07.00 - 18.30
Metro Line B (Laurentina) - Station Basilica di San Paolo, Bus 23