Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls

Rome, Italy

The Papal Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls (Basilica Papale di San Paolo fuori le Mura), is one of Rome's four ancient major basilicas. The Basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over the burial place of St. Paul, where it was said that, after the Apostle's execution, his followers erected a memorial, called a cella memoriae.

In 386, Emperor Theodosius I began erecting a much larger and more beautiful basilica with a nave and four aisles with a transept; the work including the mosaics was not completed until Leo I's pontificate (440–461). Under Pope St. Gregory the Great (590–604) the Basilica was extensively modified. The pavement was raised to place the altar directly over St. Paul's tomb. A confession permitted access to the Apostle's sepulcher.

As it lay outside the Aurelian Walls, the Basilica was damaged in the 9th century during a Saracen raid. Consequently, Pope John VIII (872–82) fortified the Basilica, the monastery, and the dwellings of the peasantry, forming the town of Joannispolis. It existed until 1348, when an earthquake totally destroyed it.

The graceful cloister of the monastery was erected between 1220 and 1241.

On 15 July 1823, a negligent workman repairing the lead of the roof, started a fire that led to the near total destruction of this basilica, which, alone among all the churches of Rome, had preserved its primitive character for 1435 years. It was re-opened in 1840, and reconsecrated in 1855 with the presence of Pope Pius IX and fifty cardinals. The complete decoration and reconstruction, in charge of Luigi Poletti, took longer, however, and many countries made their contributions. The Viceroy of Egypt sent pillars of alabaster, the Emperor of Russia the precious malachite and lapis lazuli of the tabernacle. The work on the principal façade, looking toward the Tiber, was completed by the Italian Government, which declared the church a national monument.

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Address

Via Ostiense, Rome, Italy
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Details

Founded: 386 AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Chad Miller (2 years ago)
This is a must stop any time we come to Rome. Fortunately this time they didn't have the courtyard polluted with a modern "art" display like they did last time. The columns, mosaics, and overall majesty of this Basilica is overwhelming, but to get to pray at St. Paul's tomb? To behold the chain which held him captive? It's absolutely essential to visit, and it's almost always very low in attendance compared to the other Basilicas in Rome.
Luca Scia (2 years ago)
This church is one of the biggest and the oldest in Rome. It was built far from the original Roman Walls. What I like about this church is the legend behind that. When you go inside you will see each pope from the first one to the latest one. If you pay attention you can see that there are some circles without faces. According to the legend when all the circles will be filled with a pope face there will be the apocalypse!
Genet Bacha (2 years ago)
Coming from the direction of Vatican, one has to go around the compound to get to the entrance... in that tall brick wall I didn't expect that spectacular place, the garden is small for the area but amazing, calming, peaceful and just the begining to the soul captivating interior with so much more history that would make you reach for the tissues before the camera button. AMAZING!!!❤❤❤
Joshua Brothers (2 years ago)
One of the five largest churches in the world doesn't get frequented much by tourists--but being inside is jaw droppingly beautiful. I go almost every time I am in Rome. Just under a km from the San Paolo stop on the Metro. The courtyard houses an enormous statue of Paul, and the interior is decorated with gargantuan Byzantine murals. If you get hungry, just across the way from the metro stop is the best kebab shop in Rome, so stop and get something to munch on your way back.
Jose Ferri (2 years ago)
Beautiful. Stunning! It is one of the 4 Papal Basilicas. It is away from the tourist center of the city; for that it is more difficult to get to and it is not full of people like St Peter's Basilica. However, if you have the chance to go, GO!!! It is so beautiful, its garden and in the inside is so huge and impressive... A MUST GO!
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Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

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Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

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Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

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