St. Peter's Basilica at Night
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St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome (Italy)

St.Peter’s Basilica as the name implies is the believed to be the church where Saint Peter who was one of Jesus’s 12 Disciples was buried, it’s known to be the largest church of Vatican City in Rome, Italy and often referred to as “the greatest church in Christianity”. Certain people also assume that St.Peter was the first Bishop of this church. This Basilica is considered to be a marvel of architecture in the Renaissance period. Some even call this the tombstone Basilica of Rome because it comprises of a number of artistic tombs of popes and other renowned people who rest in peace amongst the lavishly decorated sculptures, marble and gliding abode.

Evening at St Peters Basilica
Image source: Pixabay

History of St. Peter’s Basilica

It was started off by Pope Julius II in 1506 and completed under Paul V in 1615,  in the 4th century AD now known as the Old St. Peter’s Basilica. The top view of the church looking like an extremely wide Latin cross. The interior part of the church called the “Nave” has 2 lanes on either side and a huge yard in the front. There are a number of memorials and tombs in the old Basilica, which includes all the popes who ruled till the 15th Century

Why the concept of this church came in?

Pope Nicholas V was perceived to be the first to come up with the idea of building this church who reigned from 1447 to 1455. Paul II later took up the work of completing the work started by Pope Nicholas V once he died.

Julius II was known to be the person who laid the first stone of the Basilica, but it took 120 more years to complete this masterpiece.
To put it all together building the Basicila took over rules of 21 popes and 8 architects. Some of the greatest architects in history were involved in making this dream to name a few Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo

Interior and Architecture

The Basicila was built in the Rennaissance era and hence the interior captures a lot of the designs and ideas from that era. A lot of artwork and Christian relics are portrayed along the halls of the church like the carved altarpiece, the dove of peace, mosaic decorations, the tomb of Christina and the Queen of Sweden. Saint Helena holding a true cross, Saint Longinus carrying a spear, Saint Veronica carrying the veil and Saint Andrew carrying the cross are the four large statues which are the centre attractions of the Basicila because it contains immense biblical significance in Christian Mythology.

Interior of St Peters Basilica
Image Source: Pixabay

Places of Interest

At St. Peter’s Basilica, make sure that you see St. Peter’s Square, Exterior of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Nave, Dome Area with Baldachin, right aisle and transept, The Confession, Left Transept and Aisle, Crypt and the St. Peter. Michelangelo’s throne, the famous sculptor designed the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica as the chief architect in the year 1546.

The intricate work on the dome is noteworthy. Four Piers is also something, which cannot be missed at all.  Within the Four Piers you will find the larger than life statues of St. Helena, St. Veronica, St. Andrew and St. Longinus.

St. Peter’s Basilica is a renowned place of worship and is considered to be the holiest of Catholic shrines. This combined with its splendid architecture attracts tourists from all over the world, all year long. The shrine is free of cost to visit, and since it is such a holy site of worship, tourists are requested to adhere to the dress code of the place. Please avoid mini skirts, shorts and bare-shoulder dresses when you visit this shrine.

We hope we have given you good intel for planning the next vacation to Italy. Do check out our popularly booked Italy vacations on Pickyourtrail to take inspiration from.

Winston