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The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome, from 1716
27 April 2016

The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome, from 1716

In Rome, since 1716 there is the Protestant Cemetery a place designed to accommodate all those who, according to the Catholic laws, they could not get a decent burial. Poets, artists, Protestant resting together in the shade of cypress trees and rose gardens for many centuries.

The Non-Catholic Cemetery is located in the Testaccio area and is run by a private association formed by 15 embassies present in the Eternal City.

The born of the Protestant Cemetery
Pope Clement XI granted at the beginning of 1700 a special permit to bury some English exiles and, after a short time, this possibility was extended to many foreigners who lost their lives in the city.

From 1738 to 1822 it was buried nearly a hundred people as well, during that time the pope was forced to concede the territory around the Pyramid of Cestius used for burials, surrounded by walls and in 1824 was also dug a ditch in order to protect the Old Cemetery. After a few years he built a chapel and declared a Monumental Zone of National Interest.

Where is it
The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome is, today, in the Testaccio area, in Via Caio Cestius 6, but this was not the original position. Initially, the burials were made in front of the Pyramid of Cestius and along the Aurelian walls, but after time it was used a part of town called "The meadows of the Roman people" a public area where the Romans are obtained to spend their leisure days.

The Cappela Cemetery
It was the architect Andreasholzinger to build the chapel of the non-Catholic cemetery, in 1898, characterized by the fusion of several styles, the classic and the North of Europe. The chapel is characterized by an external bell while, inside, in addition to the mortuary there is a sacristy, upstairs there are spaces used for office today, once housed the caretaker.

Internally it prevails a Gothic style with stained glass features, many of which were destroyed during the Second World War.

Buried artists
Within the cemetery they are buried many artists: writers, scholars, diplomats who moved to Rome and who lost their lives while they were in Italy for professional and personal reasons, or simply because they had decided to settle in our country.

Antonio Gramsci, the Italian philosopher, Goethe's son, John Keats and Shelley, the Russian painter Brullow are just some of the famous names who have received a greater number of visits. Their graves are characterized by statues, special decorations or engraved phrases reminiscent of a part of their lives.

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