Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano in Rome

Picture of Sebastian Erkens
Sebastian Erkens

One of the most extraordinary attractions in Rome is the Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano. The cathedral is located just a few hundred meters east of the Colosseum in Rome.

Visitors to the basilica can expect an impressive journey through the history of the Eternal City. The cathedral’s unique feature is its many levels and foundations, which date back to the 1st century.

The building complex consists of three levels, each with a unique history. The current church of San Clemente, built-in 1108 under the direction of Pope Paschalis II, is located on the foundations of a much older church from the 4th century.

San Clemente al Laterano

Visitor Information:

Via Labicana 95,  00184 Roma

Subway stop: Colosseo, line B.
Buses: 85, 87, 117, 186, 810 and 850

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday: 09:00 – 12:30 and 15:00 – 18:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00 (after the end of the fair)

Colosseum (0,4 km)
Roman Forum (0,6 km)
San Giovanni in Laterano (0,8 km)

Admission to the church is free.
Admission to the two lower levels of the building costs.

Adults: 10 euros
Children & young people up to 18 years: 5 euros

Guided tour of the underground temples of the Basilica of San Clemente:

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The Basilica of San Clemente - a church with an extraordinary history

The construction of this lower church was also built on the foundations of earlier times. In the 1st to 3rd centuries, Roman buildings were located here, most of which were reduced to rubble by the great fire of Rome. Later, the remains of the buildings served as the foundations for the lower church we know today.

Even today, a narrow staircase leads to one of Rome’s old residential buildings. The “Mithraeum” is probably the most exciting room. According to tradition, meetings of the Mithras cult, a religious cult founded in the Roman Empire, took place here. The cult had numerous followers and competed with the early Christians.


The basilica was plundered and severely damaged by the Normans in 1084. Excavations of the cathedral only began in 1857, and today, some of the mosaics and frescoes have been partially restored.

The triumphal arch and the apse are gorgeous and decorated with magnificent mosaics. The floor is also covered with beautiful marble elements. In contrast to most other monuments in Rome, the medieval interior design of the Basilica of San Clemente can still be admired today. Almost everything medieval in Rome was destroyed during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Where is the Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano located?

Editor: Sebastian Erkens
Hey and welcome to Rome-Tourist! My name is Sebastian and I travel regularly to Rome, Italy.
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