Crypts & Catacombs: Exclusive Access Alone in St Agnes' Catacomb

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The rituals surrounding Christian burial sites in Rome have always offered more than mere insight into historic practices - they are a way to understand the Christian celebration of the eternal life of the soul. Exploring Rome's catacombs & crypts is an opportunity to step back in time to an extraordinary moment in the history of Christianity as you trace the evolution of ancient burial practices in three unique locations in Rome.
 
For many centuries the pagan worshipers of Ancient Roman gods struggled to comprehend the message & popularity of the new Christian religion that was sweeping across the empire. Christians were misunderstood & at various stages of Roman rule, persecuted for their beliefs. While there are many catacombs of Rome tours in the city, the opportunity to enter the Catacombs of St. Agnes after closing time is a uniquely moving experience.
 
Learn how these massive underground complexes were constructed and how Christians from the most humble origins, while persecuted in life & were honoured forever in their burial.

With the reign of Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, Christianity finally became accepted under the Edict of Milan. The conversion of the emperor himself laid the foundation for the rise & influence of the Catholic church in the following centuries. Visiting the Mausoleum of Emperor Constantine's daughter is a chance to reflect on this rare moment in history when those who were once persecuted were suddenly celebrated.
 
Her tomb, with a rare circular orientation, is replete with incredibly intricate and beautiful mosaics that honour the deceased as well as the new fortunes of Christians throughout the empire.
 
Lastly, the Capuchin Crypt, sometimes known as the bone chapel will take you to the 17th century where some imaginative monks decided to use the remains of deceased Franciscan friars to create one of the most surreal yet moving devotional arrangements in the city. Here, human bones cover the walls & even ceilings in intricate patterns & designs - a remarkable meditation on time, life, death, & eternity.