Catacombe di Roma

Monument & Heritage Check location

Used by Christians and Jews, the catacombs of Rome are subterranean passageways dated from the 2nd to the 5th century, when the lack of space and the high price of land – and also strict laws that forbid burials in the city center – determined that the bodies would be buried in these underground galleries.

The corpses would be wrapped in sheets and placed on the rectangular niches carved in the walls and then covered with gravestones made of marble or baked clay.

Spanning several kilometers, it comprises more than sixty catacombs and currently only five are opened to the public: San Sebastiano, a 12 km-long catacomb; San Callisto, the burial place of Christian martyrs and pontiffs in a network of passageways over 20 km long; Priscilla, with its significant frescoes representing the Virgin Mary; Domitilla, which was discovered in 1593 and spans over more than 15 km and the Catacombs of Sant’Agnese, which borrow the name of the saint buried there.

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