Location of Tomb I

Necropolis (Scavi) Tomb I
Tomb of the Chariot

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Tomb of St Peter by M. Guarducci

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Tomb of the Chariot (Tomb I)

Tomb I, of the Quadriga - or Chariot - takes its name from the main figure of the mosaic pavement. White and black marble pieces depict the rape of Persephone by Pluto on a chariot driven by Mercury.

The border surrounding the mosaic depicts a series of animals, tigers and gazelles, among vases and flowering plants.

The frescoes present country scenes in which the viewer should notice a peacock, a duck, doves, and other birds, together with floral designs.

From: 'Guide to the Vatican Necropolis' by Michele Basso, Fabbrica di S. Pietro



Located between the two eastern pillars of the dome parallel to the altar of St Peter in the central nave of the Vatican Grottoes, this building was invaded by the foundations of both the old and the new basilica. It was therefore one of the last mausoleums of the necropolis to be explored and only in 1946 was it possible to open the passage near the southeastern corner that now grants access to the sepulchre. A wall of tufa blocks and bricks replaced the original facade; it was built in the 4th century and used the door jambs of the travertine portal on which the legal measurements of the building were sculpted in indexed characters: twelve feet wide and fifteen deep (the side wall are three feet longer).

P. Zander. The Vatican Necropolis, in "Roma Sacra", 25, Roma 2003
Margherita Guarducci, The Tomb of St Peter, Hawthorn Books, 1960
John Evangelist Walsh, The Bones of St Peter, New York, 1982
J. Toynbee - J.W. Perkins. The Shrine of St Peter and the Vatican Excavations, London 1956
Michele Basso. Guide to the Vatican Necropolis, Fabbrica di S. Pietro in Vaticano, 1986
P. Zander. Creating St Peter's. Knights of Columbus Museum, 2004


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