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> Latest News > Explore the Grisly Secrets Beneath the Surface of Rome

Explore the Grisly Secrets Beneath the Surface of Rome

date Wed, 13/04/2016 - 11:11

tag Roman Crypts and Catacombs Tour, Rome,

Go off the beaten path in Rome!

Did you know there's a whole secret world waiting to be discovered under the streets of Rome?

Rome is an ancient city which dates back nearly 3,000 years, a history which is evident in the facades of the buildings still standing in the city today. On street level, you can spot a few buildings such as the Pantheon which were completed as early as the 2nd century, but to really get to grips with the city’s history, you need to go underground.

There are a variety of places in Rome where you can venture underground, starting with the Roman Catacombs, which are made up of 40 different sites. Inside the catacombs, people of all Roman religions were buried beneath the ground due to a lack of burial space above land, a practice which lasted around 400 years, from the 2nd Century to the 6th. Of the 40 original burial sites, the Catacombs of Domitilla are one of the most unique and remarkable as they are some of the best preserved and still contain the bones of 4,000,000 bodies originally buried in the 2nd Century. To enter the Catacombs of Domitilla, guests pass through a sunken 4th-century church and emerge in to the only catacomb with a subterranean basilica – a really unforgettable sight!

 

Catacombs of Domitilla

 

At the Basilica of San Clemente, visitors can climb through 3 layers of history which date as far back as the 1st century. The mysteries of the ground underneath he Basilica were first discovered when the sound of running water under the floor drove one clergyman to start digging beneath the floor tiles, only to discover the rich layers of history which lay beneath. Although the original building was likely destroyed in the Great Fire of 64 which tore through Rome, there are remnants and foundations of a 2nd century Mithraic temple remaining that you can still see today. Above this, there's the remains of a 4th century church, making this one of the most incredible finds ever to be discovered in Rome. In total, the ruins reach a whopping 57 feet deep, which makes you wonder what else is hiding beneath Rome’s streets…

 

Photo credit

Finally, a tour of Rome’s underground secrets could not be complete without a visit to the Capuchin Crypt and Museum, where 4,000 Capuchin monks were laid to rest. Their bones have been organised and used to decorate this jaw-dropping crypt which will leave you speechless with amazement (if not a little creeped out!). There are vertebrae chandeliers, skulls and cross bones fashioned into decorative wall displays and even robe-clad skeletons hanging from the walls. It will definitely be one of the most memorable images you take away from Rome!

 

Rome Crypts

 

Interested in exploring the history of Rome’s underground crypts and catacombs and want to know more about how they came to be there? Join the Roman Crypts and Catacombs tour for a truly fascinating trip back over 2,000 years of the city’s history.

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