Imposing and elegant, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls - built in the 4th century - is one of Rome's four papal basilicas. About 2 km outside the Aurelian Walls (after which the basilica is named), this massive Roman church - and the second largest after St. Peter's Basilica- has undergone centuries of change and expansion. It was destroyed in a fire in 1823, rebuilt and reopened in 1840 thanks to the contributions of many faithful Christians from all over the world.
Inside, the Basilica of Saint Paul is marvelous, decorated with enormous marble columns and stunning gold mosaics. Due to the fire, parts of the Medieval basilica were destroyed, but some treasures survived, such as the 5th-century triumphal arch, with its restored ancient mosaics.
On the basilica’s walls, you should check out the papal portraits. Every pope since Saint Peter is represented here - there are 265 medallions - and a legend says that when there is no longer room for the next portrait, the world will fall.
One of the most beautiful parts of the church is the atrium, made up of 150 columns and a colossal statue of Saint Paul in the center. From here you can see the façade of the cathedral covered by an enormous golden mosaic.
Although the Basilica isn’t in the heart of the city, it's worthwhile visiting and to see its impressive mosaics.