Google maps launch virtual tour of Roman catacombs

Catacomb of Pricilla

The internet's largest search engine has created a digital map of two large catacombs in Rome, hoping to expose users to the historical sites' beauty and spark curiosity to learn more about them.

- Catholic News Agency

'If you can find catacombs, if you can find frescos, if you can find museums online, then you will be willing to know more,' Georgia Albetino told CNA. 'So our objective is actually to have more and more people knowing about world-wide culture, and for us Italian culture.

Albetino is the head of Google's public policy team in Italy, and was present for the press conference announcing the new project, held in the Catacomb of Priscilla.

The Catacomb of Priscilla was used for Christian burials from late in the second century up through the fourth, and is filled with numerous wall paintings of saints and Christian symbols, some of which are currently undergoing restoration.

It is believed that the catacomb is named after a woman called Priscilla, who is believed to be the wife of a man who converted to Christianity and was put to death by the Emperor Domitian.

Inspiration for the new map system detailing the catabombs, Albetino noted, came from 'a big idea that google has, that is try to put in the web as much cultural contents as possible.'

FULL STORY Google maps launch virtual tour of Roman catacombs

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