We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Not to be missed”

Abbazia di San Paolo fuori le Mura
Book In Advance
More Info
$134.60*
and up
Full Day Tour: Vatican Museums, St. Peter's and the Most Important Basilicas of...
Ranked #15 of 1,498 things to do in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: At the beginning of the 4th century, with the end of the persecutions and the promulgation of the Edicts of Tolerance in favour of Christianity, Emperor Constantine ordered the excavation of the cella memoriae, the place where Christians venerated the memory of Saint Paul the Apostle, beheaded under Nero around 65-67 A.D. Above his grave, located along the Ostiense Way, about two kilometers outside the Aurelian Walls surrounding Rome, Constantine built a Basilica which was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. Between 384 and 395 the Basilica, under the emperors Theodosius, Valentinian II and Arcadius, was restored and enlarged according to an extensive project consisting of five naves opening out into an atrium (quadriportico), or courtyard with four rows of columns. Throughout the centuries the Basilica would not cease to be embellished and enhanced by the Popes. For example, the massive defensive wall was built to protect against invasions at the end of the ninth century, while the bell tower and the magnificent Byzantine door were constructed in the eleventh century. Other important additions include Pietro Cavallini’s mosaics in the facade, the beautiful Vassalletto family’s cloister, Arnolfo di Cambio’s celebrated Gothic baldachin and the Candelabrum for the Paschal candle attributed to Nicola d’Angelo and Pietro Vassalletto of the thirteenth century. This historical period represents the golden age of what had been the biggest Basilica of Rome, until the consecration of the new Basilica of St. Peter in 1626. This sacred place of Christian pilgrimage was well-known for its artistic works. On the night of July 15, 1823, a fire destroyed this unique testimony to the Paleo-Christian, Byzantine, Renaissance and Baroque periods. The Basilica was reconstructed identically to what it had been before, utilizing all the elements which had survived the fire. In 1840 Pope Gregory XVI consecrated the Altar of the Confession and the Transept. Other embellishments followed the reconstruction. In 1928 the portico with 150 columns was added. Contemporary work in the Basilica has uncovered the tomb of the Apostle, while other important and beneficial works are carried out, as in the past, thanks to the generosity of Christians from all over the world. In the fifth century under the Pontificate of Leo the Great, the Basilica became the home of a long series of medallions which would to this day depict all the popes throughout history. This testifies, in an extraordinary way, to “the very great, the very ancient and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul” (Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3, 3,2). Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls constitutes an extra-territorial complex (Motu Proprio by Pope Benedict XVI, 30 May 2005), administered by an Archpriest. In addition to the Papal Basilica, the entire complex includes a very ancient Benedictine Abbey, restored by Odon of Cluny in 936. This Abbey remains active even today under the direction of its Abbot who retains his ordinary jurisdiction intra septa monasterii. The Benedictine Monks of the ancient Abbey, founded near the tomb of the Apostle by Pope Gregory II (715-731), attend to the ministry of Reconciliation (or Penance) and the promotion of special ecumenical events. It is in this Basilica that every year on the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, January 25, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity solemnly opens. The Pope has specified two privileged tasks for this Papal Basilica: the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Penance) and the development and organization of ecumenical initiatives. On June 28, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Basilica and announced that the following year would be designated the “Pauline Year” to commemorate the bimillennium of the birth of Saint Paul. Thus, the “Pauline Year” was run from June 28, 2008 to June 29, 2009.
Ghaxaq
Level Contributor
50 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

San Paolo fuori le Mura can be reached by Metro Line B (Laurentina) and stop at San Paolo and you will find the Abbazia infront of you. Do visit the museum for an extra €6. If you like chocolate do purchase some from the souvenir shop. This chocolate is done by the priests from the Trappist Monastery outside Rome.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Stefania C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,447 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    2,749
    600
    86
    8
    4
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
152 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Large, beautiful Basillica - across street from metro”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We researched sights in Rome that were unusual - St. Paul Outside the Walls was one on our list. It was easy to get to on the Metro. It is a beautiful Basillica - very large - not many tourists, with lovely mosaics at the altar and in other areas. There are also archealogical ruins to explore for an extra cost. The crypt of St. Paul can be seen below the sanctuary floor in this church.
The neighborhood around the church seems to be very quiet. We did not go into the book shop but were told later that the monks serving this parish make chocolate and sell it in the book store.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Bnosnews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
128 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“View all the popes”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Majestic building and architecture. Was very crowded. Painted pictures of all popes on display. Large area around the church to relax.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank acmemc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Although it took me a while to reach there, but it is worth it ..You feel out of this universe. A very peaceful beautiful place , bringing you back to old centuries.. You feel that you exist in that time .

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mona W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barlow, Ohio
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful Basilica!!”
Reviewed August 9, 2013

This is the second largest Basilica in Rome! If you have time -- visit. It is beautiful and not crowded at all. St Paul's crypt is visible at the altar

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mike322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Abbazia di San Paolo fuori le Mura also viewed

 

Been to Abbazia di San Paolo fuori le Mura? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing