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Basilica of Saint Paul

The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is one of the four papal basilicas of Rome, the second largest after that of San Pietro in Vaticano.

It is on the Via Ostiense, near the left bank of the Tiber, about two kilometers outside the Aurelian Walls (hence the name) out of the Porta San Paolo. It stands on the spot which tradition identifies as the tomb of the Apostle Paul (about 3 km from the site - called "Tre Fontane" - in which he was martyred and beheaded), the saint's tomb lies under the altar major, said the papal altar. For this reason, over the centuries has always been a place of pilgrimage, since 1300, the date of the first Holy Year, is part of the Jubilee indulgence for you and we celebrate the rite of the Holy Door. Since the eighth century, the care of the liturgy and the tomb of the sanctuary lamp was entrusted to the monks of the annexed Benedictine Abbey of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
The entire complex of buildings is not part of the Italian Republic, but has extra-territorial property of the Holy See.

Prior to the basilica
The area surrounding the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura, the 2nd mile of the Via Ostiense, was occupied by a vast cemetery sub divos (above ground), and in constant use since the first century BC the third A.D. but rarely re-used, especially in the mausoleums until the tardoantichità. It was a graveyard extended to include different types of graves, columbaria from a small family funeral chapels often painted and decorated with stucco. Almost all of this tomb is still buried (for the most part below the level of the nearby Tiber), and is estimated to extend beneath the entire area of ​​the basilica and the surrounding area. A small but significant part of it is visible along the Via Ostiense, just outside the north transept of the basilica.

From the tomb of Paul Constantine
It is in this tomb, which was buried soon after St. Paul's martyrdom. Both the apostle Paul that the apostle Peter would have fallen victims of Nero's persecution that followed the Great Fire of Rome in 64. According to some theories, the two were martyred in just 64, after the fire. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, however, the two would be killed in 67. Tradition has it that a matron (the Lucina, but the name is almost certainly the result of subsequent legends) began to provide a grave to bury the remains of the apostle. We must imagine a poor tomb, a sarcophagus alongside other tombs of all types and all walks of life, more or less like that of Peter in the Vatican necropolis. And as for the tomb of Peter is also that of Paul must have been the object of veneration for the Christian community in Rome that fed relatively soon erected on the graves of two small tombstones, trophies. We know through the Church History of Eusebius of Caesarea a passage in a letter to Gaius, a priest under Pope Zefirino (199-217), citing the two trophies placed upon the tombs of the apostles, one on the Vatican hill and the other along Via Ostiense.
Following the place, a place of pilgrimage uninterrupted from the first century, a monument was under Constantine (306-337), with the creation of a small basilica, of which only the curve of the apse, which is visible near the central altar of the present basilica. It should probably be a small building with three naves, the apse that housed near the grave of Paul, adorned with a golden cross. This building is to be included in the series of churches built by the emperor inside but mostly outside the city, and is the second foundation of Constantine in order of time, after the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (the present Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano).

The Basilica of the Three Emperors
This small church must have seemed inadequate to the successors of Constantine, especially in view of a revaluation of the figure of Paul during the period tetrarchy. The Constantinian church (small compared with the coeval Basilica di San Pietro) was therefore destroyed to make room for a large basilica with five aisles, more like the Vatican basilica. Under the joint reign of Emperor Theodosius I (379-395), Gratian (367-383) and Valentinian II (375-392) is the basilica built in the structure will remain standing until the disastrous fire of 1823. It differs from the previous basilica, as well as for size, for the opposite direction. Access, preceded by a four, is in fact placed on the side of the Tiber rather than along the Ostiense, and still maintains this approach, using the current basilica of the walls survived the fire.
Subsequent additions, such as the monumental arch supported by columns and splendid mosaics which decorated, respectively, are attributable to restorations made by Galla Placidia (390-450) and to assistance of Leo the Great (440-461). This did make the rounds with papal portraits that ran above the arches of the nave and some of them, survived the fire, are preserved in the Collection de Rossi, in the adjacent monastery, along with other restored over the centuries. A Leo the Great is also credited with an elevation of the transept, where it was necessary to raise the point corresponding to the tomb of the devotional.

The basilica by Pope Gregory the Great in 1823
Under the pontificate of Gregory the Great (590 - 604) the church was changed drastically. The floor level was raised, particularly in the presbytery, to achieve the altar directly over Paul's grave (before the altar had to find its place in the nave, while the tomb there was a low monument, enclosed by barriers marble). An operation was performed entirely analogous to the Basilica of San Pietro. The outcome was to be able to carry on a confession, that is a small place under the access level of the transept, from which one could reach the tomb of the apostle.
The basilica is embellished with a canopy, made (1285) by Arnolfo di Cambio, but the structure of the basilica suffered no further action until those made under Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590), who in addition to dismantling some structures around the ' took the lid off the altar, creating a confession confession Gregorian discovery, which remained so until the fire. This confession was oriented toward the apse, as opposed to the current one, oriented towards the aisles.

The current basilica
After the disastrous fire of 1823 a few structures remained standing. The transept had miraculously withstood the collapse of part of the aisles and high temperatures of the fire, while preserving the ciborium of Arnolfo di Cambio and some mosaics. They had to rebuild but most of the walls. At that time the debate on the various theories of the restoration was already quite advanced, yet the architects in charge of the work they preferred to rebuild a completely new church, and today a visitor can hardly recognize the existing building the design of a basilica at the end of the fourth century.
In December 2006 they completed extensive renovations in the papal altar, lower than the floor of the basilica: the demolition of the altar that was present in this area, has been visible in the marble sarcophagus which is under the papal altar and, according to tradition, contains the remains of the Apostle Paul. It is also visible trace of the small apse in the church's oldest and oriented in the opposite direction than the current basilica (the apse was originally facing west, while today it is facing east).
The entire basilica, 131.66 meters long, 65 wide, 29.70 high, is impressive and represents the second largest of the four patriarchal basilicas of Rome. Inside, the nave and transept are being screwed by the round containing the effigies of all the Popes from St. Peter's Basilica to the current Pope Benedict XVI.Alla is attached to the cloister and the monastery.

Basilica San Paolo (Rome Metro)
Basilica San Paolo is the name of a station on the Rome Metro Line B and Rail Lido.È located in Roma-Ostiense quarter, behind the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the mura.È one of three exchange between the line B and the railway Roma-Lido. The other stations are Porta San Paolo - EUR Magliana.Provenendo Pyramid and the station of Porta San Paolo, before reaching the station, the railway through a tunnel dug in the 20 to 230 of 900 in the "Rock of St. Paul ". This gallery is a variant of the original design which included the passage around the" rock ". By adopting the original plan would have passed the line next to basilica.In Afterwards, work begun, they preferred this option as not to interfere with the landscape.