Catacombs of San Callisto - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Panorama taken of the entrance to the Catacombs of San Callisto.
Catacombs of San Callisto - FURTHER INFORMATION
Catacombs of San Callisto - Rome visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Catacombs of San Callisto' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Roma.
The Catacombs of San Callisto (Catacombe di San Callisto) are a popular tourist attraction in southern Rome. These catacombs were built around the end of the 2nd century AD and are named after Saint Callixtus and are sometimes known as the 'Catacombs of St Callixtus'. The arcades contain over fifty martyrs and sixteen pontiffs, forming part of a complex graveyard that occupies fifteen hectares and is almost twenty km long with tunnels down to a depth of 20m over 5 levels.
These Catacombs are probably the most popular in Rome for tourists to visit. Inside are a number of chambers which contain early examples of Christian burials at times of persecution, works of art and other artifacts. The oldest parts of the catacombs are the Crypts of Lucina, named after the Roman matron who owned the site and gave permission for the Christians to bury their dead here. The first room after the entrance is the Chapel of the Popes where nine popes were interred, including Sixtus II who was martyred in 258.
The Crypt of St Eusebius contained the remains of Calocerus and Parthenius, who probably died in the persecution of Diocletian, and the body of Pope St Caius (283-296). Within the Cubicula of the Sacraments are two paintings, 'Baptism' and the 'Eucharistic Meal', both of which date from the 3C are among the earliest examples of Christian art in existence.
Use of the catacombs declined after the 4C and were forgotten for centuries. The Catacombs of San Callisto were discovered again by Giovanni Battista de Rossi (1822-1984) in the 19C. In all there are over 40 different catacomb sites around Rome. Some were used to bury pagans and others for Jews, but it is the Christian catacombs that attract most attention from visitors.
Catacombe di San Callisto,
110 Via Appia Antica
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Bus: 218 from Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, a 15-minute ride, or Bus 716 from Piazza Venezia.
Car: Head south along Via Appia Antica out of Porta San Sebastiano. Just past Domine Quo Vadis? the road splits into 2, and in between the road to the Catacombs passes through a gate in the wall and up a gentle hill.