"Basilica of San Clemente, Part I" Top 5 Page for this destination Basilica San Clemente Tip by von.otter
Basilica San Clemente, Rome: 17 reviews and 36 photos
“The long supremacy of the Papacy, succeeding so soon to that of the Empire, has been the means of bringing Rome down to our own times; else would the place have most probably been an utter ruin.”
— James Fenimore Cooper, (1789-1851) “Gleanings in Europe, Italy: By an American,” 1838, 33 letters describing Cooper’s travels between 1828-1829
ROME’S BASEMENT The present Basilica of San Clemente is thought to be the one mentioned in AD 392 by St. Jerome who wrote ‘a church in Rome preserves the memory of St. Clement to this day.’ San Clemente was the third bishop of Rome. He is the author of an epistle to the Corinthians, which was written AD 96 in the name of the Church of Rome to deal with disturbances in the Church at Corinth.
San Clement, a fourth-century martyr during the reign of Emperor Trajan (AD 98-117), was bound to an anchor and toss into the Black Sea because his missionary work so angered the Romans. When the waters receded revealing, a tomb built by angels; his body was recovered. The relics of St. Clement lie beneath the basilica’s high altar.
In 1857 Father Joseph Mullooly, then the Prior of San Clemente, began excavations under the present basilica. He uncovered not only the original, fourth-century basilica directly underneath, but also at a lower level, the remains of the first-century home of Flavius Clemens, a Roman Consul and cousin of Emperor Domitian (AD 81-96). Clemens’ wife Flavia Domitilla was a Christian convert and the family transformed its home into a clandestine house of prayer for the Christian community.
The basilica is not big but very beautiful. The mosaics and the canopy over the main altar are exquisite. Entrance to the church is free; but entrance to the excavations is by paid admission. Log on to the basilica’s web site; it is excellent.
Address: Via Labicana 95
Directions: Metro A, red line, to Manzioni; exit for Viale Manzoni to Via Labicana, and turn left into Piazza S. Clemente
Metro B, blue line, to the Colosseum; exit Piazza del Colosseo. Leave metro station, turn left to Via Labicana. At Piazza S. Clemente turn right
Phone: 06 77 40 021
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