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Rome Reports

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Completely renovated Saint Peter's prison in Rome opens to the public

Saint Peter's Prison, also known as the "Carcere Mamertino," will open its doors to the public as one of the most historic places in the world for Christians. Millions of pilgrims visiting Rome can admire frescoes and ancient structures with a digitized guide. Through tablets, one can listen to the history of the prison and learn about the process of its excavation and restoration. Architecture and archeology experts have devoted one year to the restorations. It has been a great responsibility for all those who have worked on it. RICCARDO AUCI CEO, Visibalab "It's a great challenge for such a young company in Barcelona. We take great pride in working for the Italian state and the Vatican. It was a big responsibility, but we are very happy for citizens and tourists to return to a place that is so important and has so much content." The prison, one of the most ancient in the world, lies under the church of Saint Joseph of the Carpenters within the Roman Forum. Only the enemies of the emperor of Rome were imprisoned there. Among them were the Apostles Peter and Paul. ROSARIO GIUFFRÉ Rector, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria ; "In this prison, Saint Peter was arrested in a very harsh way, because he was considered the leader of a political religion that was annulling the emperor's power." There are many stories about this prison. One story says that Saint Peter broke a rock and baptized the prisoners with the water that flowed. The chains that held Saint Peter prisoner should still remain there, but in this last excavation some were discarded. ROSARIO GIUFFRÉ Rector, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria ; "The popular piety arose immediately because the early Christians remembered that Saint Peter was convicted here. The story of the chains ;preserved in the basilica of Saint Peter's in Vincoli has nothing to do with the prison, but instead with Jerusalem when he was condemned by the Sanhedrin. Beyond the archaeological significance, which is huge, we have discovered how the prison worked and how the power of the Senate was related to the power of the Emperor." The charm of this mysterious place, so closely related with the beginning of Christianity and the city of Rome is undeniable. ROSARIO GIUFFRÉ Rector, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria ; "This is an exceptional place. It is unique because no other place in the world has preserved the continuity of technical power, administrative, religious, cultural and place of pilgrims since 900 A.D." Saint Peter's prison will be one of the major tourist attractions of Rome, keeping in mind its history and archaeological wealth. AQ/DN RR -SV -PR up:MB