Teutonic Cemetery

Last updated
Teutonic Cemetery
Italian: Campo Santo dei Teutonici e dei Fiamminghi
Campo Santo Teutonico from St. Peter's.jpg
The Teutonic Cemetery seen from above, in the courtyard of Collegio Teutonico .
Coordinates 41°54′05.04″N012°27′15.84″E / 41.9014000°N 12.4544000°E / 41.9014000; 12.4544000 Coordinates: 41°54′05.04″N012°27′15.84″E / 41.9014000°N 12.4544000°E / 41.9014000; 12.4544000
Find a Grave Teutonic Cemetery
Italian : Campo Santo dei Teutonici e dei Fiamminghi
Teutonic Cemetery

The Teutonic Cemetery (Italian : Campo Santo dei Teutonici e dei Fiamminghi, "Camposanto of the Teutons and the Flemish") is a burial site in Rome adjacent to St. Peter's Basilica. Burial is reserved for members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of the German Cemetery, which owns the cemetery. [1] It is a place of pilgrimage for many German-speaking pilgrims.


The cemetery lies entirely outside the borders of Vatican City; it is an extraterritorial property of the Holy See as designated under the Lateran Treaty of 1929.


Located where the Circus of Nero once stood, during the period of the Roman Empire, it was the site of the martyrdom of many of the early Christians of the city. The cemetery chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows marks the spot where St. Peter was killed. [2]

It is reported that Pope Leo III gave the land to Charlemagne in 799 for a hospice, called the "Schola Francorum", for German pilgrims. In connection with the hospice was a church dedicated to the Saviour and a graveyard for the burial of the subjects of Charlemagne who died in Rome. Since the fifteenth century the soil of this cemetery has been held to be sacred earth from Jerusalem. This tradition, in connection with the immediate vicinity of the graves of the Apostles and with the memory of the first martyrs under Nero, explains the name of campus sanctus, "holy field". [3] The cemetery is owned by the "Archconfraternity of Our Lady", formed in 1454 to preserve the grounds. [4]

On 6 May 1527, it was the site of the Stand of the Swiss Guard when the Pope's Swiss Guards held off mutinous German troops long enough for Pope Clement VII to escape over the Passetto di Borgo to Castel Sant'Angelo.

There are now two institutes of study and two chapels attached to the cemetery, one being the burial place of the Swiss Guards who fell in defense of the city against the forces of the new Kingdom of Italy in 1870. The Collegio Teutonico del Campo Santo replaced the hospice in 1876 to receive priests belonging to the German Empire or German provinces of Austria, who remained there for two or, at the most, three years pursuing their studies and officiating in the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà in Camposanto dei Teutonici.

Cimitero Teutonico at Collegio Teutonico. Rome Campo Santo Teutonico 01.jpg
Cimitero Teutonico at Collegio Teutonico.

The cemetery is reserved for the burial of members of the Santa Maria della Pietà Confraternity (a confraternity originally with membership only for citizens of the Holy Roman Empire) and members of the German colleges and religious houses in Rome. [5]

The cemetery can be visited by citizens of the countries on the territory of the former Holy Roman Empire, so also for Belgians and Dutch citizens. When requested in German or upon presentation of a Dutch or Belgian passport, the Swiss Guards will give access to the cemetery.

In February 2015, Willy Herteleer, a homeless Flemish man, was buried in the cemetery with the assistance of Paul Badde, a German journalist and a member of the Archconfraternity, [2] after approval by Pope Francis and reflecting his maxim that he wanted "a poor church, for the poor". [6]


Duchess Charlotte Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin first wife of Christian VIII of Denmark was allegedly buried here. Her tomb was opened on 11 July 2019 due to investigations related to the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi case, but was found to be empty. [7] [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Piazza dei Miracoli</span> Historic architectural complex and UNESCO World Heritage site in Pisa, Italy

The Piazza dei Miracoli, formally known as Piazza del Duomo, is a walled 8.87-hectare area located in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy, recognized as an important centre of European medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world. Considered sacred by the Catholic Church, its owner, the square is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Campanile, and the Camposanto Monumentale. Partly paved and partly grassed, the Piazza dei Miracoli is also the site of the Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito, which houses the Sinopias Museum and the Cathedral Museum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prince Georg of Bavaria</span>

Prince Georg of Bavaria was a member of the Bavarian Royal House of Wittelsbach and a Catholic priest.

Campo santo is a word for cemetery in Italian and Spanish and may refer to:

Emanuela Orlandi was a Vatican teenager who mysteriously disappeared while returning home from a flute lesson in Rome on 22 June 1983. Sightings of Orlandi in various places have been reported over the years, including inside Vatican City, but all have been unreliable. The girl's disappearance led to much speculation on the involvement of international terrorism, Italian organized crime, the Banco Ambrosiano, and even a plot inside the Holy See to cover up a sex scandal.

Purgatorial societies are Roman Catholic Church associations or confraternities which aim to assist souls in purgatory reach heaven. The doctrine concerning purgatory, the condition of the poor souls after death, the communion of saints, and the satisfactory value of our good works form the basis of these associations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Languages of Vatican City</span>

Vatican City uses Italian in its official documents and as its main working language. However, many other languages are also used by institutions situated within the state, such as the Holy See and the Swiss Guard, as well as personally by its diverse population.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sant'Antonio dei Portoghesi</span> Church in Rome, Italy

The church of Saint Anthony in Campo Marzio, known as Saint Anthony of the Portuguese, is a Baroque Roman Catholic titular church in Rome, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Lisbon. The church functions as a national church of the Portuguese community residing in that city and pilgrims visiting Rome and the Vatican. It also serves the Brazilian community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Santa Maria dell'Anima</span> Church in Rome, Italy

Santa Maria dell'Anima is a church in central Rome, Italy, just west of the Piazza Navona and near the Santa Maria della Pace church. It was founded during the course of the 14th century by Dutch merchants, who at that time belonged to the Holy Roman Empire. In the course of the 15th century, it became the national church of the whole Holy Roman Empire in Rome and henceforth the so-called German national church and hospice of German-speaking people in Rome. In some sources this institution is called Austrian since Habsburg emperors were its protectors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National churches in Rome</span> Designation of certain churches in Rome

Charitable institutions attached to churches in Rome were founded right through the medieval period and included hospitals, hostels, and others providing assistance to pilgrims to Rome from a certain "nation", which thus became these nations' national churches in Rome. These institutions were generally organized as confraternities and funded through charity and legacies from rich benefactors belonging to that "nation". Often, they were also connected to national scholæ, where the clergymen of that nation were trained. The churches and their riches were a sign of the importance of their nation and of the prelates that supported them. Up to 1870 and Italian unification, these national churches also included churches of the Italian states.

San Bernardo della Compagnia was a small church in Rome, next to Trajan's Column, dedicated to Saint Bernard and the Virgin Mary.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roman Colleges</span>

The Roman Colleges, also referred to as the Pontifical Colleges in Rome, are institutions established and maintained in Rome for the education of future ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church. Traditionally many were for students of a particular nationality. The colleges are halls of residence in which the students follow the usual seminary exercises of piety, study in private, and review the subjects treated in class. In some colleges there are special courses of instruction but the regular courses in philosophy and theology are given in a few large central institutions, such as Pontifical Urbaniana University, the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Lateran University, and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Collegio Teutonico</span>

The Collegio Teutonico, historically often referred to by its Latin name Collegium Germanicum, is one of the Pontifical Colleges of Rome. The German College is the Pontifical College established for future ecclesiastics of German nationality. It is divided into two separate colleges; the Pontificio Collegio Teutonico di S. Maria dell’ Anima and the Collegio Teutonico del Campo Santo.

This is an index of Vatican City–related topics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duchess Charlotte Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin</span> Hereditary Princess of Denmark

Duchess Charlotte Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, was the first wife of Christian VIII from 1806 until 1810, before he became King of Norway and later King of Denmark. She was a daughter of Frederick Francis I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">San Giuliano dei Fiamminghi</span> Church in Rome, Italy

The Church of St. Julian of the Flemings is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Julian the Hospitaller, located in Rome, Italy. Historically, the church has been the National Church in Rome of the Southern Netherlands and, in 1830, became the national church of the Kingdom of Belgium.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Santa Maria della Pietà in Camposanto dei Teutonici</span> Church in Rome, Italy

The Church of Our Lady of Mercy in the Teutonic Cemetery is a Roman Catholic church in the rione Borgo of Rome, Italy. It is located on the Via della Sagrestia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">San Pellegrino in Vaticano</span> Church in Vatican City

The Church of San Pellegrino in Vaticano is an ancient Roman Catholic oratory in the Vatican City, located on the Via dei Pellegrini. The church is dedicated to Saint Peregrine of Auxerre, a Roman priest appointed by Pope Sixtus II who had suffered martyrdom in Gaul in the third century. It is one of the oldest churches in the Vatican City.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anton de Waal</span>

Anton Joseph Johann Maria de Waal was a German Christian archeologist and Roman Catholic church historian. He established the Collegio Teutonico del Campo Santo and carried out numerous archeological excavations in Rome.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Santa Lucia del Gonfalone</span> Church in Rome, Italy

Santa Lucia del Gonfalone is a church in the diocese of Rome, Italy. It is located on Via dei Banchi Vecchi just one block south of Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The former site of the Archconfraternity of the Gonfalone, the Claretian Missionaries have their provincial headquarters here. The church was made a cardinalate deaconry by Pope John Paul II on 21 October 2003.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hans-Peter Fischer</span> German Catholic priest

Hans-Peter Fischer is a German Catholic priest. He is Prelate Auditor of the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota since 2017. From 2010 to 2022 he served as rector of the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows of the Germans and the Flemish in the Vatican and as rector of the Pontifical Teutonic College of Santa Maria in Campo Santo.


  1. Fischer, Hans-Peter. "The Teutonic Cemetery, a cemetery within the Vatican", Rome Reports, August 12, 2012
  2. 1 2 3 Ieraci, Laura, "Historic cemetery inside Vatican walls is 'little piece of paradise'", Catholic News Service, March 12, 2015
  3. 1 2 3 Waal, Anton de. "Campo Santo de' Tedeschi." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 8 April 2020PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain .
  4. 1 2 3 Rezac, Mary. "The lively history of the Vatican Teutonic cemetery", Catholic News Agency, October 31, 2014
  5. Vatican City website "Teutonic Cemetery" Archived 2012-09-23 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Pope Francis approves burial of homeless man at prestigious Vatican Teutonic Cemetery, ABC News Online, 27 February 2015
  7. Rodari, Paolo (11 July 2019). "Caso Orlandi, il fratello Pietro: "Tombe aperte e trovate vuote: incredibile"". La Repubblica (in Italian). Rome. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  8. Reynolds, James (11 July 2019). "Emanuela Orlandi search: Empty tombs fail to solve Vatican mystery". BBC News . Vatican City. Retrieved 11 July 2019.

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Campo Santo de' Tedeschi". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.