Commonly called the “Catacombs of Rome”, they are an underground burial system underneath the city of Rome. The catacombs of St. Callixtus, in Italian Catacombe di San Callisto (also known as the cemetery of Callixtus) are the largest and most popular burial tunnels in Rome located to the right of the Appian Way, after the church of “Quo Vadis?”, the catacombs of St. Callixtus have a network of galleries that are almost 20 km long (about 12 miles), more than 20 m deep and they occupy 15 hectares.
The famous catacombs also also became the official cemetery of the church of Rome. The Catacombe di San Callisto was founded at the end of the 2nd century and they were rediscovered along with the crypt by an Italian archeologist named Giovanni Battista de Rossi. The underground area includes several attractions, the most important of them is the area of Popes also known as the “little Vatican”. In the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, tenths of martyrs, sixteen popes and over 5,00,000 Christians were buried. These catacombs have a special importance to the history of Christian art as they contain many examples of paintings, sculptures, frescoes, relics and other objects from before 400 AD.
The name of the catacombs comes from Callixtus, the appointed administrator of the cemetery back in the day.