The Head of St. John the Baptist at San Silvestro in Capite – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura
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The Head of St. John the Baptist at San Silvestro in Capite

San Silvestro

One of four skulls claiming to belong to the beheaded St. John the Baptist is on display at this Roman church. 


Though churches in France, Syria and Germany also claim the skull of St. John the Baptist, the relic is what gives this church its name. The skull can be viewed in the first chapel to the left of the entrance. Don’t miss the stained glass in this room depicting St. John’s head on a plate. 

The church was built to house relics from the catacombs. These are not normally on display. Instead they’re housed in the confessio under the altar and listed near the front door of the church.

Know Before You Go

Near the intersection of Via del Gambero and Via della Mercede. There are a number of other churches nearby and San Silvestro is easy to overlook. It’s a yellowish building that you pass though an atrium to get to.

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