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Basilica San Sebastiano Fuori le Mura

43 Reviews

Basilica San Sebastiano Fuori le Mura

43 Reviews
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Via Appia Antica 136, Rome Italy
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Colli AlbaniRome Metro24 min
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Home to some of the world’s most iconic paintings, the Vatican Museums attract huge crowds. Save yourself hours of waiting by booking this skip-the-line tour of the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms, and St. Peter’s Basilica (when the option is selected) in Rome. Early morning and evening tour options mean you can explore the complex during far less crowded time slots. Upgrade to a small-group tour limited to 10 people for a more personalized experience.
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dapper777 wrote a review Oct 2020
Monaco24,213 contributions2,421 helpful votes
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The Basilica of St Sebastian outside the Walls is located along the Via Appia Antica, between the Caffarella Park and the Catacombs of St Sebastian and is part of the so-called Tour of the Seven Churches, a traditional route practiced by pilgrims from all over the world on the occasion of the Jubilee. The basilica stands in the place where, according to tradition, the remains of Sts. Peter and Paul were brought during the Christian persecution. For this reason the original name of the church was "Basilica Apostolorum", the Basilica of the Apostles, before being dedicated to St Sebastian, buried in the catacombs below, at the end of the third century. For fear of an attack by the Ottomans, in 826 AD. the saint's remains were transferred to St. Peter's Basilica. And it was a good thing, since the attack happened for real, causing the destruction of the church. The Basilica was subsequently rebuilt by Pope Nicholas I, while the martyr's altar was rededicated by Pope Honorius III at the request of the Cistercian monks, who took care of the church. Usually the saint was portrayed while he was tied to a tree but in the chapel dedicated to him in the basilica in 1672, Giuseppe Giorgetti preferred to show the saint lying on the ground in a pose which shows the influence of works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Inside the basilica we can admire a recently found bust by Bernini, the Salvator Mundi, absolutely unmissable. This work, of which there was no certain information, was only recently recognized as the original piece of art by Bernini, his last one. There are also very interesting relics such as the footprints of Jesus in the famous episode of "Domine Quo Vadis?" It is a Basilica of great artistic and historic interest with a spectacular coffered ceiling, a wooden crucifix in the old sacristy on the left side of the church, and the beautifully decorated Albani chapel with the statue of Pope St. Fabian. But the jewel of the site is the catacombs below. A must visit: the whole spectacular set in the splendid framework of Via Appia Antica
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Date of experience: October 2020
1 Helpful vote
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phat_dawg_21 wrote a review May 2019
Alpharetta, Georgia9,506 contributions553 helpful votes
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The church is not particularly impressive from the outside, but the interior is interesting. The ceiling is very beautiful. It contains the original “Footprints” of Jesus from the Church of Domine Quo Vadis.
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Date of experience: April 2019
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TravelerCentralFLA wrote a review Mar 2019
Clermont, Florida657 contributions598 helpful votes
We visited the Basilica of San Sebastiano while in Rome. The church stands over an entrance to one of the older catacombs in Rome. Originally Sebastian (a Christian martyr executed by Diocletian) was laid to rest in the catacombs. Today his remains are inside the church where they are considered relics by the church authorities. The interior of the church is pretty, but it is not too unusual from many other churches in Europe. Three things stand out inside the Basilica. The first is the remains of Sebastian. The second is a spot that contains relics from the legendary Quo Vadis incident in the life of the Apostle Peter. Also within the screened area of the Quo Vadis footprints is one of the darts allegedly shot into Sebastian. The third item is the most interesting in my opinion. That is the Salvator Mundi sculpture by Bernini. Salvator Mundi means Savior of the world and the sculpture is a bust of Bernini's representation of Jesus. The bust is not remarkable for its historical depiction of Jesus (the man represented in the bust looks European and Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jewish man). What is remarkable is the artistic masterpiece of the sculpture. The way Bernini sculpted the piece, it looks like you can see motion. It has a motion and warmth that makes it feel almost alive. it is amazing. This is also reported to be Bernini's last sculpture. It is definitely worth seeing.
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Date of experience: March 2019
2 Helpful votes
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John B wrote a review Aug 2017
Waltham, Massachusetts615 contributions22 helpful votes
While taking a walk along the Appian Way, we stopped into this church and found some wonderful sculptures and frescoes. The catacombs weren't open (it was a Sunday - the day much of the Appia Antica is closed to traffic) but the church was worth a quick visit.
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Date of experience: October 2016
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ExplorerGoddess wrote a review Oct 2016
Sydney, Australia538 contributions191 helpful votes
This Basilica is in the same area as the catacombs of St Sebastian. It's not much from the outside but is attractive inside and houses some relics associated with St Sebastian, including an arrow he was allegedly shot with and part of the column he was tied to. It also has the stone allegedly imprinted with Jesus' footprints related to the St Peter fleeing Rome story. Worth stopping in when walking along the Appian Way.
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Date of experience: September 2016
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