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The fourth Papal Basilica we visited is a lesser-known one in the south part of Rome.  Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls is located at or near the site of St. Paul's execution.  A memorial was placed at that site by Paul's followers immediately after his death.  When Constantine became the first Christian emperor, he founded a basilica at the site which was rebuilt and improved upon over the centuries.  The basilica survived one threat after another over the centuries: earthquakes, fires, Muslim attacks, Protestant looting and desecration, etc.  Finally, in 1823, it was almost totally destroyed by a careless workman leading the roof.  Some of the more valuable furnishing were saved from the fire and the basilica was reconstructed along the same lines as before.  The reconstruction became a world-wide project and many rulers and countries donated.  Egypt sent alabaster, Russia sent lapis lazuli. The Italian government supervised the reconstruction, declaring it a national monument.  The result was the most beautiful of the four Papal my opinion.  The simplicity of the design makes it appear larger than it is.



The statue of St. Paul with drawn sword stands in the middle of the garden in front of the basilica.



This outer colonnade surrounds the basilica.  The garden with the statue is inside.  This is a group of unruly British tourists on a guided tour that I was forced to share the basilica with.




The inner garden, statue and portico of the basilica.




The mosaic of the Tympanum on the front of the building.




Statue of St. Peter.  Larger-than-life sized.




Statue of St. Paul on the other side with an eternal flame to his memory.




The main entrance to the basilica.  I had my assistant stand in the doorway as a size standard for the doorway.




The doorway lintel is elegantly sculpted.




The central nave.  Again I had my assistant stand there to demonstrate the size.




The right aisle.




The left aisle.




The ceiling of the nave.




The apse with the baldacchino in front of it.  The object on the right (to the left of the column) is the Paschal Candlestick 5.6 meters high.




The mosaic of Christ and some of the apostles covers the apse.  The baldacchino is in the foreground.  The mosaic of the apse was the largest item to survive the destruction of the fire.




The confessio in front of the apse.




The reliquary holds a section of the chains used by Paul's jailers to confine him.




The illuminated glass-covered hole in the floor of the confessio allows visitors to view an unearthed foundation piece of the apse of the original basilica.  The original basilica faced in the opposite direction.  The screen above it covers the illuminated excavation there.  At the back, visitors can see a large piece of unfinished marble.  This is the wall of the sarcophagus of St. Paul.  His earthly remains are inside.




The baldacchino from the side.  It was also spared from the fire.




The right transept.  At the end is the Altar of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin featuring a mosaic of that theme.  It is flanked by statues of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica.




The transept ceiling.



The left transept has the Altar of the Conversion of St. Paul.  On the sides are statues of St. Gregory the Great and St. Bernard.



The organ.



The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.  The crucifix is from the 14th century.  Bridget of Sweden prayed before it daily while she worked to accomplish her mission of having the Papacy returned to Rome from Avignon.



The St. Benedict Chapel.





Fragments of the original basilica are displayed in a special yard alongside the basilica.