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Basilica of Saint Paul Ouside the Walls

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The Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura (Basilica of Saint Paul Ouside the Walls) is situated close to the Tevere river, about 2 Km from the Aurelia walls, just outside Porta San Paolo.

It is one of the four Patriarchal Basilica's in Roma and is the second in size (131.66 m. long, 65 m. wide, and 29.70 m. high) after that of San Pietro in Vaticano.

It was consecrated in 324 and was finished by the son of Teodosio, Onorio who was also the first Emperor of the West.

The antique, early Christan building remained intact with its Constantine columns and its Byzantine, Renaissance, and Baroque additions until it was damaged by fire in 1823. However Pope Leone XII had it rebuilt, thanks to the offers of the faithful, by architects like Pasquale Belli, Pietro Bosio, and Luigi Poletti.

The charged architects preferred building a completely new Basilica.

On the inside, the naves nd the transepts are friezed by circles containing effigies of all the Popes, from Saint Peter to the present Pope Benedetto XVI.

The tomb of the Saint is to be found under the main alter, also called Papal Alter. A cloister and a monastery have been added to the Basilica.

Since 1300, the Holy Year, it is part of the jubilee itinerary so as to obtain indulgence, and the ceremony for the opening of the Porta Santa (Holy Door) is held here, hence it is the destination of many pilgrimages.

The Basilica and its monastery are extra-territorial property of the Vatican.

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