The Basilica of San Clemente and time travel

It could be said that if we visit the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome we will actually be visiting three temples from different eras.

And it is that this beautiful basilica located very close to the Colosseum in Rome consists of 3 superimposed levels, each of them belonging to a different time in history. Going from one level to another will take you on a time travel from the 12th century to the 1st century in this basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I.

There is a Tour of the basilicas of Rome, which we recommend you take because in a very short time you will be able to see them all at the hands of an expert guide.

The upper level. The 12th century Basilica

Rome - Basilica San ClementeOn the street that joins the Colosseum in Rome with Saint John Lateran we find this basilica whose exterior does not tell us much but its interior hides a large part of the history of Rome.

The entrance is through a beautiful medieval atrium, which is also the best preserved in Rome.

Rome - Basilica San Clemente - 12th centuryOnce inside, we find two main points of interest.

On the left we find the Chapel of Santa Catalina, one of the first works of the Renaissance in Rome and where we find some interesting Frescoes by Masolino da Panicale.

In the apse we find the other point of interest thanks to its mosaic. In this spectacular mosaic of great beauty we can see the life that comes from the cross.

The visit to this level is free. To visit the rest of the levels you have to buy a ticket.

The second level. The 4th century basilica

Rome - Basilica San Clemente - IV CenturyAfter enjoying the small basilica and its rich decoration on the upper level, we can start our way back several centuries and through the sacristy access the lower floor.

This 4th-century basilica was wider than the current one and it shows the reinforcements that were built to support the weight of the upper part.

In its center we can see different columns but these are from the 19th century, placed after the removal of the earth that covered the naves during the excavations carried out at that time.

Among the points of interest in the lower part of the Basilica of San Clemente we must highlight the different medieval frescoes that recount the life of Clemente I.

The Mithraeum, journey to the 1st century

Rome - Basilica San Clemente - 1st centuryWe can still go down further at the Basilica of San Clemente and in this way we find a place with almost 2000 years of history.

It must be said that it is a place with a lot of humidity and that it is usually cold, so we recommend that you dress warmly.

In this area we find a small temple dedicated to Mithra that was used for initiation rituals and also served as a secret meeting place for the first Christians.

As you can see, each level is different so you will think you have visited three basilicas.

You can find more information on the official website of the Basilica of San Clemente.

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