Banner-San-Lorenzo-fuori-le-mura.png Banner-San-Lorenzo-fuori-le-mura.png

Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls

In 258 Emperor Valerian promulgated an edict for the killing of all bishops, priests and deacons. Among the victims was Saint Lawrence, a deacon of Spanish origin, to whom the basilica is dedicated and which still contains his relics.


Tradition has it that the saint was martyred on a flaming gridiron, exactly on the spot where the structure built by Emperor Constantine stands today.


The present building is a fusion of two previous structures, one built towards the end of the 6th century and the other at the beginning of the 13th. The church was completely destroyed during World War II by allied air raids, and was later rebuilt from the rubble. Numerous frescoes were lost in the raids, while the remnants of the ancient church were gathered together where the Verano Cemetery is now.