"Basilica of St Peter's - exterior" St. Peter's Basilica - Basilica San Pietro Tip by Willettsworld

 
 

Catholicims most sacred shrine, the sumptuous, marble-caked Basilica of St Peter's draws pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. It holds hundreds of precious works of art, some salvaged from the original 4th century basilica built by Constantine.

The Basilica of St Peter is the biggest church in the world with its enormous size and the magnificent dome which also represents one of the most solemn monuments in Rome. The first basilica was founded in the same place were St Peter was buried in AD 324 by Constantine. The holy building was very sumptuous, decorated with marbles and mosaics but it changed in 1541 when Nicholas V thought to completely renovate it. After him, Julius II thought that it was necessary to pull it down and put Bramante and Giuliano da Sangallo in charge of the reconstruction. When Bramante died, Raphael Sanzio replaced him and in 1546 Michelangelo became in charge of the works; he designed the huge dome, then he was followed by Fontana, Maderno and Bernini who tried to stick to the project of their master. The fašade was built by Carlo Maderno in 1614 who put columns and Corinthian pilasters in the lower part, a central porch and two arches at both ends and, on the upper part, nine balconies, the central of which was called the ?Loggia of the Blessings?. The fašade finishes with an attic in which windows and pilasters alternate, and a balustrade with 13 statues.

Open: 7am-7pm daily. Expect to stand in queue for a while!

Address: http://w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html
Phone: +39 06 6988 3731
Website: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_pietro/index_it.htm

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 27, 2005
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