Catacombs of the Saint Agnese Basilica

Catacombs of the Saint Agnese Basilica


            The Basilica of Saint Agnese is raised over a Catacombs. Both were dedicated to the martyr Saint Agnese, patron saint of teenagers. She was persecuted during the reign of Diocletian, the last and most bloody persecution of Christians by the Romans in 303, and was locked in a brothel, where the legend says, she confirmed her holiness.
So, this network of tunnels date from the III century after Christ. It has over ten kilometers in corridors, of which only a few are accesible, and is one of the most important Roman funerary complexes.
            The architecture of the catacombs correspond to the first period of early Paleochristian art, that is, before the Peace of the Church, given in the year 313. During this period there is little outdoor architecture. The catacombs were outside the cities and were underground tunnels which gave access to large chambers called cubicula with aeration channels and in the walls were opened the niches or loculi, opened for the deceased, sometimes protected by round archs (arcosolium). The crypts were rock chambers, usually under the floor of a church.


            About the Paleochristian art, is the art that develops during the first six centuries after the rise of Christianity. The Peace of the Church, also known as the Edict of Milan, was given in 313, when the freedom of religion in the Roman Empire was established, ending the persecutions.
About the legend of Saint Agnese, it is said that she was murdered on January 21, at the age of 12, after rejecting the son of the prefect of the city to keep his own virginity. Some say she was burned at the stake, and others, beheaded. Constantine erected a basilica in her honor because he said she cured his daughter Constance’s leprosy, which even wanted her Mausoleum next to the Basilica.


            In conclusion, the whole set formed by the Basilica of Saint Agnese, the Catacombs, and the Mausoleum of Constance make this place something special, both for its collection of buildings as its legend. The catacombs is another great masterpiece of architecture. Just thinking about how they have had to build all this with the means their disposed, it's awesome how they did these underground burial galleries.
These buildings are in Rome, Italy.

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