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Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

Canada
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Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

What are the opinions on whether it is worth going to the Catacombs? I was under the impressions they were similar to the pictures you see of those catacombs where there are walls of bones. I have since learnt that the catacombs are empty. Therefore, is there anything to see? Is it worth going to, or should we just stay in Rome?

Thanks!

pittsburgh
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1. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

I suppose it depends on what you find interesting. Some people find the catacombs very interesting and really enjoy the tour. Others, not so much. What exactly are you looking for? If you want to see bones you could visit the crypt of the Capucchin monks on the Via Veneto near the piazza Barberini.

Donna

Montreal
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2. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

You go to catacombs to see early Christian frescoes and (sometimes) architecture.

If you want to see bones, go to the Cappuchin Crypt on Via Veneto.

Canada
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3. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

I guess I am wondering if the tombs are empty...why are the catacombs do popular?

Montreal
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4. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

I told you: For a combination of artistic/historical and religious reasons. For some, the religious aspect is more important; for others, it's the artistic/historical aspect.

Bones are not the only reason why anything is popular, with the possible exception of the Cappuchin Crypt.

NYC baby!
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5. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

As Zerlina says, it's the historical aspect that many, myself included, find interesting. "Empty" is also not really the right word. For that matter, much of the ruins of Ancient Rome--the Colosseum, the Forum--are all "empty" but they are fascinating nonetheless.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

Historical reasons is why I found them fascinating - "empty" possibly in the literal use of the word "empty" - but, not empty at all when recognizing its historical and other significance - in fact, far from it.

Moscow
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7. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

If you have 4 hours to spare, go the catacombs.. probably you can also hire a bike and visit other places along the via appia antica.

I suppose the historic and religious perspective is more relevant here.. after all the Forum is also empty..

St Paul, MN
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8. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

At the st Agnese Catacombs I asked where all the bones were. The guide told me that they had to remove the bones because people broke into the catacombs at night and stole the bones that were accessible as relics.

The catacombs are cool, holy, historical places. You can see the original resting places of the first popes, saints like St Cecilia, Prassede, Agnese. There are statues, frescoes. The Domitilla catacombs has an underground basicillia dedicated to SS Nereus and Achilles. this site has pictures. See for yourself if youi might be interested

www.catacombe.roma.it/en/dettaglio.html

Frankly displaying masses of bones on the walls or out in the open, I find it distasteful. people even saints and popes should be allowed to rot in private. There is a body of a saint in Santa Maria Cosmedin rotting in full view with a sign glued to his skull; how disrespectful.

Edited: 30 May 2010, 03:20
9. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

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Houston, TX
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10. Re: Is it worth going to Catacombs of Sant Callisto

There are no bones, we enjoyed seeing the Catacombs, it was interesting to hear about the early Christians, and seeing where they buried their dead. It was nice to go out into the country side and see some of that besides the City.