"go to S. Pietro in..." St Peter's - Vatican City Tip by zys1

St Peter's - Vatican City, Rome: 85 reviews and 85 photos


Favorite thing: go to S. Pietro in Vaticano.

S. Pietro in Vaticano is the most imposing basilica of all Christianity, and it is the heart of the Catholic world. One certainly does not have to be Catholic to enjoy this breathtaking basilica. St. Peter's is built over the tomb of St. Peter, and was erected by Constantine shortly after 320 A.D. Fearing it would collapse, Nicholas V commissioned B. Rossellino to rebuild it in 1452. But, the construction was not begun until 1506 under Julius II to a Bramante design, who intended to 'raise the Pantheon above the Basilica of Maxentius'. After him, the works were directed alternately by Giuliano da Sangallo, Raphael, B. Peruzzi and A. da Sangallo the Younger, until Michelangelo took over in 1546 and gave the unmistakable imprint of his genius to this awesome building. He built the building in the form of a Greek cross surmounted by the majestic famed cupola. On his death in 1564, the work, already well advanced, was continued by Pierro Ligorio, Vignola, Giacomo della Porta, and D. Fontana. At the wish of Paul V, C. Maderno later transformed the shape from that of a Greek cross to that of a Latin cross, which lengthened the front wing and added the facade. On November 18, 1626, Urban VIII consecrated the new basilica.
The face, preceded by a wide flight of steps in three tiers, with the huge statues of St. Peter and St. Paul at the sides, is gigantic (125 yards long by 50 yards high) with eight colossal columns and four pilasters supporting the trabeation crowned by a balustraded attic, above which the statues of Christ, the Baptist, and the Apostles (except St. Peter) of the Bernini school, and two clocks, stand out.

Phone: 03072016
Website: http://www.vatican.va

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 24, 2002
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