AGNESE AND COSTANZA

This is a tour of a complex of churches dedicated to two girls in early Christian times, still well preserved and operating today.

It all started when saint Agnes was buried in a catacomb along via Nomentana, probably III century AD.

In IV AD empress Constantina (or Constantia), emperor Constantine’s daughter, commissioned a large basilica in honour of Agnes, that was erected next to the catacomb. Attached to this basilica, Constantia had her own splendid mausoleum built, and decorated with sumptuous mosaics; this was later on converted into the church of santa Costanza. We will see the ruins of the so called Constantinian Basilica of Saint Agnes and enter the beautifully-preserved  Mausoleum of Santa Costanza, where the mosaics are still visible.

In VII century a new basilica was built for Agnes, right on the grave this time, in the catacomb itself. We will visit this very spiritual place, the Honorian Basilica of Saint Agnes, and its lavish apse mosaic. A monumental stairway connects the two basilicas, and it serves today as a museum.

The complex became a very fortress in Middle Ages, and some towers are still there.

Duration: 2 hours

No entrance fees.

At the end of the visit you may want to see the catacomb on your own, entrance fee is 8 euro, 5 euro for children under 15, free under 7.

No bare shoulders, knees covered.