The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is one of the four major Catholic basilicas – along with Saint Peter, Saint John of the Lateran and Saint Mary Major – and one of the five churches considered the oldest in Rome (the previous four and the basilica of San Lorenzo Outside the Walls). It is the second largest basilica in Rome, after San Pedro, which is 11 kilometers away. According to tradition it is the place where the apostle Paul was buried. In 2005, Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo was named archpriest of the basilica. The basilica represents early Christian art.
The basilica, and all the annex complex, such as the cloister and the monastery, are part of the Italian Republic, and extraterritorial property of the Holy See. The basilica is one of the churches that must be visited in the pilgrimage of the seven churches of Rome to reach the plenary indulgence in the Holy Year.
In 1990 it was included in the list of World Heritage Sites in Europe by Unesco, with the identification number 91-013.