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Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura

106 Reviews
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Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura

106 Reviews
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Piazzale del Verano 3, 00185 Rome Italy
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PoliclinicoRome Metro13 min
Tiburtina F.S.Rome Metro16 min
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dapper777 wrote a review Nov 2019
Monaco24,306 contributions2,454 helpful votes
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It's located at Piazzale del Verano, in the heart of San Lorenzo neighborhood, 20 minute walk from the Termini train station, or a 10-minute walk from the Policlinico metro stop on line B. It has this name 'San Lorenzo fuori le Mura' (or "St. Lawrence outside the Walls”) because it outside the city center). It is very old, much more ancient than other ancient Roman churches. St Lawrence, one of Rome's most important saints,was put to death during Valerian's persection of Christians in 258 A.D. (the story says that he was placed alive on a gridiron prepared with hot coals beneath). Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, first built an oratory here in the 4th century; the church itself came in the 5th century and was reconstructed by the Byzantines in the 6th. Pope Sixtus III built a church which was later remodeled into the present nave and redecorated the shrine in the catacomb, where St. Lawrence himself weas buried. The basilica had a central nave, side aisles with galleries above, a small apse at the west end, and a narthex at the east end. The grave of St. Lawrence, still unmoved from its original position in the catacomb, rose up at the front of the nave. The interior has an unusually restrained interior. Despite this, it is worth visiting for its magnificent Cosmati floor and front portico, which features a fresco of St Lawrence, Noteworthy : a 2nd-century sarcophagus depicting a pagan marriage feast. (Today it holds the 13th-century remains of Cardinal Guglielmo Fieschi). On the opposite wall, against the structure housing the tomb of St. Lawrence, is the "Stone of St. Lawrence," a marble slab with a large stain. According to tradition, Lawrence's body was laid on this stone. Near the main altar there is a statue of the Saint, who carries a gridiron and a jewel box (by Stefano Galletti1865). The church also has the remains of the martyrs St. Stephen and St. Justin in the church crypt beneath the high altar. Another beautiful church in Rome. It is not just a beautiful church though, it is one that is filled with history. It is actually one of the oldest churches in Rome. Amazing building with such a wonderful history A great quiet place to enjoy and have some quiet time.
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Date of experience: November 2019
3 Helpful votes
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Marcus L wrote a review Jun 2019
Austin, Texas727 contributions114 helpful votes
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San Lorenzo Outside the Walls is on the Eastern side of the wall, just outside it. It is considered a minor papal basilica and does not seem to get as many visitors as other Pilgrimage churches, perhaps due to its location (and neighborhood). When we were there, they were celebrating Mass. This church is definitely worth an Uber ride and is a very long walk from Trastevere (where we were staying).
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Date of experience: May 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Windowseatview wrote a review Feb 2019
London, United Kingdom371 contributions201 helpful votes
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When in Rome it strikes you that the Church of Rome really is a local Roman church. Many (though not all), of the saints of the Roman Canon of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which includes the Virgin, St. Joseph, the Apostles and the early martyrs of the Catholic Church, are still here. The first five martyrs are Popes, then a Bishop, a Deacon and then five laymen. St.Lorenzo, or Saint Lawrence, was martyred under the same Valerian edict that condemned Pope Saint Sixtus II (one of the Popes!) This church was founded on his tomb. The church was originally dug into the catacomb so the floor of the church was adjacent to the tomb/shrine but quite far beneath ground level (St Agnese fuori le Mura has the same arrangement - they're all "fuori le Mura" because burial within the walls was forbidden), you can see the original ground level at what is now the gallery high above you, which surrounds the altar. The catacomb was then largely dug away and the second church built onto the original apse, changing the direction of worship in a now much longer basilica. They also transported the bones and relics of St.Stephen from Jerusalem and interred them alongside those of St. Lawrence and so we have the Deacon of the East and the Deacon of the West united in one tomb. Go and see it but go early morning or later in the afternoon as the funeral schedule at this church, right next to the huge Verano cemetery, is unrelenting, they're dropping like flies. Good place to find lots of reused classical architectural elements (spolia), from temples and basilica, see if you can find the name of Constantine from a reused inscription on the floor. They have several postcards, rosaries, booklets and histories of the church for sale in the sacristry (up the small ramp to the right of the side aisle to the altar, also the route to the interesting cloister), and have a very nice small (about 11 inches, 28cm), copy of the white marble altar statue of St.Lawrence for sale too (Statues of St.Lawrence are mysteriously rare. Can't move for Padre Pios. St. Lawrence? Nada). Nice local place for Mass. Opening hours are from 7 am to 12 am and from 4 pm to 7 pm. Bus 71 gets you there and back, or you could walk.
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Date of experience: January 2019
6 Helpful votes
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Windowseatview wrote a review May 2018
London, United Kingdom371 contributions201 helpful votes
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A return visit to this old, beautiful, unusual, and less visited Papal Basilica, and well worth the effort to escape the crowds and see something wonderful. It has one of the best Cosmati floors and is home to the relics of several Saints, most notably its titular Saint Lawrence. The sacristry (door up ramp, on right by altar), sells a very informative and thoughtful guide book to the church (access to the lovely cloister is through the back of the sacritsry). Mass is well attended by locals and the Priests are friendly, some speak English. A taxi, or the 71 Bus from the stop near the news kiosk on Via dell'Olmata, opposite Santa Maria Maggiore, will take you there and back again. Love this place.
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Date of experience: May 2018
4 Helpful votes
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Windowseatview wrote a review Jan 2018
London, United Kingdom371 contributions201 helpful votes
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A largely unvisited (by tourists), Church, San Lorenzo fuori le Mura is a minor Papal Basilica and one of the seven pilgrimage churches of Rome. It's located a little out of the historical centre, a short taxi ride or twenty minute walk east of Termini station (you can take the 71 Bus back to Santa Maria Maggiore from across the road). The church is dedicated to St Lorenzo (Lawrence, Laurent, Laurence), deacon under Pope St Sixtus II of Rome, martyred in the systematic persecution of the Christians under Emperor Valerian ordered in 258. When ordered to hand over the wealth and patrimony of the church, he distributed it all amongst the poor and needy rather than have it confiscated by the Emperor and then turned up at the appointed date with only beggars, lepers and the poor, stating defiantly "Behold the treasures of the church!" Asking for trouble really, but he already knew where his story would end. His last words, as he was roasted to death on a grid-iron (his symbol), were "turn me over, I'm done on this side", He's now the patron saint of comedians and chefs. The church contains his tomb shrine. He shares his tomb with St. Stephen. Several Popes (including Pius IX), and a former Italian Prime Minister are also buried within the church. St Lorenzo is under the altar baldacchino and you can walk around his tomb. The shrine was designed by the CosmatI and, the choir enclosure and pulpit have Cosmati decoration, and there is also a Cosmati Paschal candlestick. The Church has an unusual double aspect; over the years the orientation has changed with rebuilding, so there are Byzantine mosaics to be seen on the triumphal arch on both sides. There's also a cloister to visit where the damage of WWII (an unintended hit) is recorded. It's daily life is as a very grand parish church and that's interesting to see. A lovely and very unusual basilica which deserves, and rewards, the very minor inconvenience of getting to it, you'll probably have the place to yourself. Church opening hours are 7.00 to 12.00 and 16.00 to 19.00 daily.
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Date of experience: January 2018
3 Helpful votes
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