The Basilica of San Pietro or St. PeteHold tight. You stand at the doorstep of the largest church in the world and are about to see its magnificent treasures!
The Vatican Church, also known as the Basilica of San Pietro, is considered the most sacred church to the Catholics. It is so large that it can accommodate up to 60,000 worshipers at any given moment. It is located in Vatican City, the seat of the Pope. The Vatican, as we know, is a small country in itself.
The entrance is through the large and beautiful square, Piazza San Pietro. On both sides of the entrance are 288 huge columns designed by Bernini.
The church was built in the late Renaissance and Baroque styles and its large dome is one of the familiar symbols on the horizon of Rome. Beneath the dome is St. Peter, one of the apostles of Jesus, who spread Christianity in Rome and became the first Pope. Peter was executed and later buried here.
On the ceiling of the chapel you can see the "creation of man," Michelangelo's famous painting. Throughout the church you can see other amazing works - the works of young Raphael, the sculptures and the design of Bernini and other works that express the richness of the Vatican.
Do not miss the little balcony in the dome of the basilica. It is 120 meters high and in order to reach it it is necessary to combine an elevator and another 330 stairs.
Construction of the BasilicaThe truth is that the construction of this church began in the fourth century, but it was rebuilt in the 16th century. In 1506, Pope Julius appointed Donato Bramante to rebuild the building that stood in front of the present basilica, the Basilica of Constantine. The new basilica was designed as a cross with four arms.
All the popes who came after him invested a great deal of resources in the emerging basilica. They spent large sums of money and brought artists like Raphael, Baldassare Peruzzi, Antonio de Sangallo, Bernini and Michelangelo (who designed the dome) to help complete its magnificent construction. Inside the dome is Michelangelo's famous Pieta statue.