Jewish Catacombs of Vigna Randanini

Via Appia Antica 119. (Open Map)


These catacombs were discovered in 1859 and are one of the best examples of burial structures of Rome’s Jewish community, already present in this city as far back as the 2nd century BC and that became increasingly more numerous especially during the Empire. Access to the catacombs is through a huge rectangular hall, originally open-air and later divided into two and covered by a vault, probably in order to be used as a synagogue. 

The tunnels have “shaped” tombs, that is, excavated in the floor, as well as brick-sealed loculi, arcosolia and the characteristic Kôchim tombs, of Phoenician origin, consisting of oven-type loculi on several levels. Some painted cubicles depict not only flower motifs and animals but also subjects typical of the Jewish faith such as the Ark of the Covenant and the seven-branch candelabrum. 
There are curiouslyno Hebrew inscriptions. The catacombs reached their maximum development in the 3rd and 4th century AD.