Friday, January 2, 2015

Rome: Crypts & Catacombs of Rome Tour Postcards

When Ed and I went on a tour of the Crypts and Catacombs of Rome, the first stop of which was at the Capuchin Crypt and Museum. There are six crypts, five of which include the remains of some of the Capuchin Friars. It was macabre, but it also struck me as quite reverent and prayerful. This signs greets you at the Crypt:

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

This is the third crypt, the Crypt of the Skulls. In the tympanum of the central niche an hour glass stands out, with wings made of shoulder blades. The side walls contain two Capuchins resting in curved niches.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

Our next visit was to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, where among other things we saw the 2nd-3rd century Crypt of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. The statue of St. Cecilia is a copy of the work sculptured by Stefano Maderno in 1599.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

We also saw the 3rd century Crypt of the Popes. This is the most important and venerated crypt of the cemetery, called "the little Vatican" as it was the official burial place of nine popes and, probably, of eight dignitaries of Rome's 3rd century Church. In the walls you can still see the original inscriptions, in Greek, of five popes: Pontianus, Antherus, Fabian, Lucius, and Eutichian. In the front wall Pope Sixtus II, a victim of emperor Valerian's persecution, was laid to rest.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

Our last stop was the Basilica of St. Clemente, where among other things we saw 11th century frescoes; this particular 11th century fresco is in the Lower Church of St. Clemente, and is the Miracle of St. Clemente.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

The Basilica of St. Clemente had some really beautiful mosaics. This 12th century mosaic, located in the apse, is of the city of Bethlehem.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

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