Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome

La Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome

Discover the hidden treasures of this beautiful church

Just a stone’s throw away from the central Termini Station and the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore), you will find the Basilica of Saint Praxedes (Basilica di Santa Prassede). Easily overlooked and tucked away in a small street, this is a hidden gem not to be missed. Behind its bright orange outside wall this basilica houses stunning mosaics and a beautiful floor.

Must Visit Churches in Rome

La Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome

The church as we see it now was built in the 9th century by Pope Paschal in honor of Saint Praxedes, who helped Christians flee persecution and buried the remains of those she couldn’t save. A marble disc in the central nave indicates the well where she buried the remains and the blood of those martyrs.

La Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome

The interior is divided into three naves divided in turn by granite columns. Entering, your eye is immediately drawn to the dazzling mosaics that cover the entire walls and vault created by artists from Byzantium. The apse shows Saint Praxedes (left) and her sister Pudentiana (right) on either side of Christ, while the arms of Saint Peter and Saint Paul rest on their shoulders. On the far left you can see Pope Paschal himself presenting a model of the church as an offering to Christ. Looking closely, you will see that Pope Paschal is the only figure with a blue nimbus instead of a golden halo. This to indicate that he was still alive at the time.

Don’t leave the church without having taken a look inside the Chapel of Zeno (Cappella di San Zenone), build by Pope Paschal as a mausoleum for his mother Theodora. This heavily mosaiced chapel is decorated almost entirely with pieces of glass and gold and is the only chapel in Rome that consists entirely of mosaics. Don’t forget to bring a little money to donate – that way the mosaics will be illuminated which makes them even more impressive. Additionally, the chapel contains a glass case with a segment of the column upon which Jesus was flogged and tortured.

Whether you are religious or atheist, this unique church with its magnificent mosaics is definitely worth a visit.

La Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome

Via di Santa Prassede, 9A (Monti/Esquilino)

Metro Cavour / Vittorio Emanuele

Opening Times:
Monday-Saturday 10am-12pm | 4pm-6pm
Sunday 10am-11am | 4pm-6pm

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