22 luglio 2009

Basilica of San Clemente

Roma, Italia - By far the absolute coolest thing I have ever seen or visited in all my travels has to be Basilica of San Clemente in Rome. This unique site holds centuries of christian faith, art, and history within its walls and underneath its foundations.

This is an early Christian basilica dedicated to Pope St. Clement and is known for its three historical layers. The 12th-century basilica is built on top of a extremely well-preserved 4th century church, which in turn was built on top of a 3rd-century Mithraic Temple and 1st-century insula, much of which still remains to be excavated.

It was absolutely a-mazing and exciting journey into Ancient Rome. Once we started to moved down to the first tier of excavation, the 4th century church - it was humbling to see frescoes first hand from the 4th century and to see everything in raw form.

Below this stunning church, is even more archeological squealing goodness. The 3rd-century temple underneath is absolutely breathtaking. What is even more extraordinary is that while you explore the excavated caves underneath you find yourself walking on a Roman road, passing through a Roman school room and even through a 1st-century apartment complex. And then to top it off you get the chance to hear the sound of rushing water that comes from a lost spring or perhaps a 1st-century aqueduct runnin through the main sewer of ancient Rome, coming straight from the old Roman aqueducts.

I am absolutely blown away and estatic with this visit. What a way to start our last and full free day in Rome. Now we're off as a group to visit San Pietro in Vincoli (or St. Peter in Chains Basilica) where the chains that bound St. Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem are held as a relic and the chance to see Michelangelo's Moses from the early 16th century.

Until after the Palazzo Borghese, travel on.

-- post made from iPaolo

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