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Catacombs of Callixtus

Photo credit: swampa / Source / CC BY
Catacombs of Callixtus
  • (interesting)
  • 10+ km
  • Easy
  • Average
  • half day
  • 1 1

One of the most famous underground burial places of Rome

Via Appia Antica, 110/126, 00179 Rome, Italy
Full price: 8 EUR
Reduced price: 5 EUR (school classes, youth from age 7 to 15, soldiers and police)
Free entrance for children under 6 years old

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.

 

  • Your itinerary:
    The Crypt of the Pope or “The Little Vatican” – the burial place of popes with original inscriptions in Greek language still visible on the walls. The popes buried here were: Pontianus, Antherus, Fabian, Lucius, Eutichian and Pope Sixtus II. Also found here is a Latin poem by pope Damasus in honour of the Martyrs and Christians whose remains are in the catacombs.
  • The Tomb Of St. Cecilia – St Cecilia was the patroness of music and musicians who was tormented, killed and buried where a statue in her honour was placed next to a painting of her and a painting of three other martyrs. Her crypt was covered in mosaics around the 9th century AD.
  • The Cubicles of the Sacraments – Five chambers, each belonging to a different family famous for its frescoes which represent Baptism and Eucharist and the depiction of Jona, the symbol of resurrection.
  • The Crypt of St. Gaius and St. Eusebius – Two crypts, one of the used for assemblies during the 3rd century and the other one is the resting place for the pope.
  • The Crypts of Lucina – The place where the tomb of St. Cornelius is found with an inscription in Latin that spells “Martyr” across from pictures of different popes and bishops.

Opening hours

9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 17:00

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Catacombs of Callixtus Catacombs of Callixtus Catacombs of Callixtus

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