Catacomb of Callixtus

Rome, Italy

The Catacomb(s) of Callixtus is one of the Catacombs of Rome on the Appian Way, most notable for containing the Crypt of the Popes, which once contained the tombs of several popes from the 2nd to 4th centuries.

The Catacomb is believed to have been created by future Pope Callixtus I, then a deacon of Rome, under the direction of Pope Zephyrinus, enlarging pre-existing early Christian hypogea. Callixtus himself was entombed in the Catacomb of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way. The crypt fell into disuse and decay as the relics it contained were translated from the catacombs to the various churches of Rome; the final wave of translations from the crypt occurred under Pope Sergius II in the 9th century, primarily to San Silvestro in Capite, which unlike the Catacomb was within the Aurelian Walls. The Catacomb and Crypt were rediscovered in 1854.

The underground cemetery includes several areas. The area of the Popes is the most important and venerated crypt of the cemetery, called 'the little Vatican' as it was the official burial place of nine popes and, probably, of eight dignitaries of Rome's 3rd century Church. In the walls you can still see the original inscriptions, in Greek, of five popes. On four tombstones, near the name of the pope, there is the title of 'bishop', since the Pope was regarded as the head of the Church of Rome, and on two of them there is the Greek abbreviation of MPT for 'Martyr'.

Passing through imposing galleries full of loculi, we reach five small chambers, truly family tombs, commonly known as the cubicles of the Sacraments, and particularly important for their frescoes.



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Founded: 2nd century AD
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Italy


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User Reviews

Mehul Vora (8 months ago)
I truly enjoyed it. There is a LOT to be seen underneath and the guided tour explains a lot about what happened underneath and the history. The tour (ours in English) was at a (too) quick pace but still allows you to take in the amount of labyrinth underneath. It's just well lit for the right ambience. Worth a shout if you haven't been inside a catacombe before.
Simina Sav-Șamata (15 months ago)
Definitely worth visiting! Our guide was fantastic (we did the tour in English, I just cannot remember our guide's name...). Truly informative, impressive catacombs and a must see place in Rome!
Alessia R (15 months ago)
Really interesting and unique place. Jacques brought us in and explained the story of this fascinating place which I will never forget. Impressing. Tips: Book the tickets online and take a sweater with you, underground it’s 15 C!
Lynlie D. (15 months ago)
Definitely worth a visit , the burial place of Christians. Some half a million people had been buried here from the second to fourth century during which Christianity is prohibited. The guided tour is well organized however be prepared as in some cases there could be a stopover due to the number of visits, and it can be cold down under so dress accordingly.
B P (16 months ago)
It was a great experience especially for my kids. Our guide Don Thomas was excellent and we didn't want to leave. Everything organized. The place quiet, spiritual and holly as it should be
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