The district of St Paul is one of the oldest and historically most significant of Rome. You will be told its story and see its many surviving evidences. Since the ll century b.C. a cemetery was established along the banks of the Tiber river. Here the Apostle was buried in 69 a.D. and in the year 320 the emperor Constantine raised a small church on His tomb. At the end of that same century a basilica, 9 times larger, replaced the small church and a new altar was raised on the tomb. A majestic porch, 2 km long, was built along the river for the pilgrims to reach the holy grave. During the Middle Ages monasteries and lodgings for the pilgrims were built on the side of the Basilica, surrounding everything with powerful walls. In the 1800 the church caught fire and a large part of it had to be rebuilt.
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We will visit the ancient roman cemetery partly rediscovered and excavated in the past century, the Basilica with the newly exposed tomb of the Apostle and its beautiful medieval mosaics and cloister, the new excavations of the ancient Pilgrims’ Porch and the early monasteries.