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Rome: The Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains (Tre Fontane)


About the Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains:

One of Rome’s earliest churches, the Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains (Chiesa del martirio di San Paolo alle Tre Fontane), is the site of the martyrdom of Saint Paul. Tradition tells us that, because he was a Roman citizen, he was beheaded rather than crucified. The story was passed down that his head bounced three times on the ground, and at each spot a spring appeared.

There are actually three churches here, so it can be a bit confusing.

Visitors are greeted with a large marble plague over the entrance that says “Place of Martyrdom of Saint Paul the Apostle, where three sources miraculously gushed out”.

Inside you can see a pillar where Saint Paul was said to be bound before being martyred. The original church that stood here was built in the fifth century, the one standing there today dates from the 16th Century.

Water from the three springs was at one time distributed to pilgrims, but due to pollution, that practice has been stopped.

Finding the Church of Saint Paul at Tre Fontane:

To reach the church you take line B on the metro and get off at Laurentina (the last stop on the line!).  And once there, be sure to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Revelation just across the street.

Address: Via di Acque Salvie, 1, 00142 Roma, Italy

GPS coordinates: 41° 50′ 5.0100” N, 12° 29′ 0.7188” E

Click here for the official website of Abbazia della Tre Fontane (Saint Paul at the Three Fountains)

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