Vatican Necropolis

Today in the Catholic Church calendar is the Optional Memorial of The Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, so I thought this might be a good time to look at the necropolis, or burials, beneath St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This site dates to ancient Roman Imperial times and was the likely location of the burial of St. Peter after his martyrdom by the Emperor Nero in the Circus of Caligula between 64-67 AD. Rather than a catacomb, this site held family mausoleums and other above-ground tombs. Constantine the Great chose the location for his basilica because of its proximity to St. Peter’s remains.

The Vatican has a virtual tour that you can take from home. If you are planning a trip to Rome, information on visiting the necropolis can be obtained at this link.

For more information on the necropolis and its history, read the account by a priest who was a guide for the Vatican tours of the Necropolis. Wikipedia also has a decent article with further references.








Necropolis1 (1)






Necropoli della "Via Triumphalis", settore Autoparco, panoramica


These photos and many more are included in this brief video.