San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City) is the largest church in Italy and a Renaissance masterpiece.
San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City), dedicated to Peter the Apostle who is said to have been buried on the site, is one of the largest basilicas in the world. The emperor Constantine erected the first church that was completed in 349 and it wasn’t until 1505 that Pope Julius II started to work on the new Basilica. Michelangeo then became in charge of the project and designed the famous dome. He left behind impressive works of art such as the Pietá; the sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the crucified Jesus. The architect Bramante and roman artist Raphael was also involved in this massive project.
The church was completed in 1589 and inaugurated in 1593. In the beginning of the 1600s, architect Carlo Maderno insisted that the facade could improve and built eight massive columns and thirteen statues. Performed from the main balcony of this facade, the Pope gives his blessings to the mass on St. Peter’s Square in front of the Basilica during Christmas and Easter. The blessing Urbit Et Orbi: To the city of Rome, and to the World.
In this transept-shaped Basilica you can find the baroque Baldacchino di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Baldachin) by Bernini, a designation and remembrance of Saint Peter and his tomb and the Museo Storico Artistico with its sacred relics. It is possible to take part in a collective tour of the Vatican Museum and the Basilica. Group- and individual tours are also available. The opening times on wednesdays can vary due to papal audiences.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
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