The churches of the martyrs on Caelian hill




Piazzale SS. Giovanni e Paolo, 13
Church: every day. Winter: ore 10:00-13:00 e 14:00-17:00. Summer: ore 10:00-13:00 e 15:00-18:00. April-June: 10:00-13:00 e 14:00-18:00 Free entry.
Roman Domus (houses): every day except Tuesday and Wednesday: 10:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00. Admission fee.

The basilica stands on the remains of a number of Roman houses from the second century AD belonging to two Roman officers converted to Christianity, namesakes of the Apostles John and Paul, and beheaded in 362 AD by the emperor Julian the Apostate. In 398 A.D. the first nucleus of the church was built and only in the twelfth century was the Romanesque bell tower completed, along with the porch that precedes the facade. In the middle of the nave, a tombstone on the floor marks the burial place of the two martyrs holders of the basilica, whose remains are kept in a porphyry casket at the main altar. In the apse are the eighteenth-century paintings with the Martyrdom of St. John and St. Paul and the Conversion of Terenziano (Domenico Piastrini, Pietro Andrea Barbieri), dominated by the sixteenth century fresco with Christ in Glory by Pomarancio. In the bottom of the right aisle is access to beneath the basilica, where, during archaeological excavations in 1887 the remains of five buildings from the second century AD were found, in one of which the two martyrs from the time of the founding of the basilica were buried.

Foto Archivio Fotografico F.E.C.

7b_santo stefano rotondo

Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo, 7
Every day. Winter: 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00. Summer: 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00. Free entry.

Built in the fifth century and commissioned by Pope Leo I, the church is dedicated to the Hungarian martyr Stephen, the first king and founder of the Church of Hungary. The circular layout follows that of the religious buildings of the Constantine era, especially martyria, dedicated to the memory of the martyrs. Related to the theme of martyrdom are the frescoes by Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta: the cycle of the Martirologio contains 34 panels on the perimeter walls of the interior ambulatory. The cycle begins with the story of the Massacre of the Innocents, continuing with the Crucifixion and the Martyrdom of St. Stephen. Behind the main altar is a chapel dedicated to Stephen of Hungary with a tomb from the sixteenth century. The actual tomb of the saint is in the basilica dedicated to him in Budapest.

How to get the step: The churches of the martyrs on Caelian hill

Clivo di Scauro, 00184 Roma, Italia


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