Basilica of Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura Rome

The Basilica of Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura (“Saint Agnes outside the Walls”) is located outside the center of Rome, in the Monte Sacro Alto neighborhood. It is one of the oldest Christian basilicas in Rome. The basilica is part of larger complex, including the Mausoleum of Costanza and the Catacombs of Sant’Agnese.

Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura Basilica Rome

Useful information

The address of the Chiesa di Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura is Via Nomentana, 349 – Rome (tel. +39 0686205456). Bus: 60, 60L, 82, 90, N4. Opening Hours: Every day from 07.30 to 12.00 and from 15.00 to 19.30. Entrance fee: Free of charge.

History and description

Apse, Sant'Agnese outside the Walls Basilica Rome
Apse mosaic

The Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura Church was built in 324. This was commissioned by Costanza, the daughter of Emperor Constantine. The church is located above the ruins of a cemetery and of the catacombs where the saint’s remains were buried.

After Pope Honorius I ordered the reconstruction of the church, several more renovations took place.

The facade is characterized by a magnificent Renaissance portal, which was saved from the ruins by the later Pope Julius II. Above the gate is a bifora. A wide marble staircase leads to the narthex of the church.

The interior is further characterized by three naves, separated by 14 ancient columns with Corinthian capitals.

What to see

On the walls are fragments of ancient plaques and architectural elements of the catacombs themselves.

A mosaic shows Saint Agnes depicted as a Byzantine empress. This artwork, with a gold background, is one of the very oldest specimens of Byzantine art to be seen in Rome.

Curiosities

Every year on January 21, two lambs are blessed in the church. With the wool of these lambs a pallium is then made, which is given by the Pope to two newly appointed archbishops.

Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura Basilica Rome


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