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MAY 27
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Basilica of St. Clement

The Basilica di San Clemente (Basilica of Saint Clement) is a first Christian basilica in Rome hallowed to Pope St. Clement (d. 99 AD).

The church enjoys of a wonderful interior, but it is peculiarly notable for its three historical layers: the 12th-century basilica is built on top of a well-preserved 4th-century church (with many frescoes), which was built next to a 3rd-century Mithraic Temple.

The principal, stimulant church of San Clemente is one of the most exuberantly decorated churches in Rome. Almost all its architecture and art dates from its construction in the early 12th century. The access is on the left aisle.

The most striking sight is the 12th-century apse mosaic, in a golden-bronze color and featuring a large cross in the center. In the center of the apse is a throne, whose back is part of a martyr's tomb.

Near the entrance in the left aisle is the Chapel of St. Catherine of Alexandria, featuring frescoes by Masolino de Panicale (early 15th century). The west front of the church consists of a 4th-century portico and a 12th-century atrium.

Access to the lower church is via the sacristy, off the right aisle. Here there are 19th-century copies of the frescoes in the lower church.

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