I would like a list of the twelve Apostles, correlated with their most probable burial location. I understand that many reliquaries containing parts of their bodies were distributed throughout Christendom, but if there is a "primary" burial location for each, I would like to see it.

Additionally, I would like to know the date associated with each burial location, and I understand that it may have been established well after the death of the Apostles in question. I'm not seeking to see if each site is in fact "the" actual location, so much as to understand where I could visit any particular shrine.

(1) Is there any information on the possible tombs, i.e. not the cenotaphs if any, of the Apostles of Jesus Christ? I have seen and visited other tombs of other christian historical figures. 2) how far does this go in time? That is, which known tomb would be the oldest?

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    I have no idea why this question has 2 close votes, both of which are "too broad". This question sounds like a historical question and demands a historical answer. The historical answer may be that "we don't know yet" or that "we have evidence of this guy's tomb".
    – Double U
    Feb 10, 2015 at 13:11
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    I didn't VTC, but wouldn't this be better in history.se? Feb 10, 2015 at 15:47
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    @TheFreemason I don't think so. For the most part this will have traditional, rather than strictly historical, answers. It's also of interest to those studying Christianity and not as much to those studying history as a discipline. Feb 10, 2015 at 17:22
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    I think focusing on the original 12 only is probably not too broad.
    – user3961
    Feb 10, 2015 at 18:43
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    Just an FYI, if this question gets closed, I plan on voting to reopen. This is a great question, as Mr. Bultitude's answer shows! Feb 10, 2015 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


I got most of this information by perusing Wikipedia.

  • Simon Peter (brother of Andrew) - traditionally said to be buried in Rome, under St. Peter's Basilica. The tomb dates between 130 and 300.

  • James (son of Zebedee and older brother of John) also called "James the Greater" - as the patron saint of Spain, he is said to have been buried in Santiago de Compostela after his remains were carried there when he was beheaded in Jerusalem. The pilgrimage site originated in the 9th century.

  • John (son of Zebedee and brother of James) - traditionally said to have been buried in Ephesus. The basilica has been there since the 6th century, but his remains are said to have not been found.

  • Andrew (brother of Simon Peter) - traditionally said to have been buried in Patras, Greece. In 357 the relics were transferred to Constantinople. In 867 the skull was sent back to Patras, and in 1208 those that remained in Constantinope were sent to Amalfi, Italy. In 1908 all relics were returned to Patras.

  • Philip of Bethsaida - traditions say he was martyred in Hierapolis, and archaeologists claim to have found his tomb in 2011. Santi Apostoli is said to contain his remains now (having been transferred from the tomb to Constantinople and then there before the tomb was discovered). It's unclear to me when the remains are supposed to have been transferred there.

  • Thomas (Didymus) - there are a number of places associated with his martyrdom and burial, but the most commonly accepted seem to be a martyrdom on St. Thomas' Mount in India and burial nearby where San Thome Basilica was later erected. It's unclear when exactly the site became associated with him, but it appears to have been 1523 at the latest.

  • Bartholomew (Nathaniel) - said to have been martyred in Albanopolis, Armenia with his remains being shuffled around for a while later until they came to rest in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome in 1180.

  • Matthew (Levi son of Alphaeus) of Capernaum - said to be buried in Salerno, Italy, where a cathedral was built in 1076.

  • James (son of Alphaeus) also called "James the Lesser" - Hippolytus said he was stoned to death in Jerusalem, but Nikephoros said he was crucified in Ostrakine, Egypt. His relics are in Santi Apostoli with Philip. As with Philip, it's unclear to me when the site became associated with him.

  • Simon the Zealot - relics are in St. Peter's Basilica in the same complex as Peter (so dated between 130 and 300)

  • Judas Thaddaeus (Lebbaeus), called "Jude of James" (brother or son of someone named James, possibly one of the Jameses in this list) - relics are in St. Peter's Basilica in the same complex as Peter (so dated between 130 and 300)

  • Judas Iscariot - died in Akeldama and presumably still there, but nobody has been terribly interested in venerating the tomb of a traitor

  • Matthias - the Greeks claim he's buried in Gonio, Georgia but Catholics have had his relics in St. Matthew's Abbey in Trier, Germany since 1148

  • If I recall correctly, the tradition about Peter is that he was originally buried somewhere else, but was exhumed sometime later and placed under the Basilica in Rome.
    – user3961
    Feb 11, 2015 at 2:02
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    @servantofWiser There are indeed 13. When Judas betrayed Jesus and killed himself, the apostles appointed Matthias to take his place. You can read of Judas's betrayal and death in Matthew 26-27 and Acts 1. Mar 30, 2015 at 15:08
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    @TheIronKnuckle I'm not aware of any group, Protestant or otherwise, that believes Jesus' brother/relative James was one of the Twelve. Feb 14, 2017 at 0:45
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    @TheIronKnuckle I believe he is considered an apostle in a broader sense, like Paul, Barnabas, Silas, etc. Feb 14, 2017 at 0:49
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    @TheIronKnuckle That's disputed, but usually the brother of Jesus is assumed. Feb 14, 2017 at 0:57

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