St. Peter's Basilica in Rome (Vatican Italy) - Saint Peter's Square
Location show on map
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican Rome, Italy
Date of build
1506 - start of construction
November 18, 1626 - sacrifice of the basilica
- Other building names: San Pietro in Vaticano, St. Peter's of Rome, New St. Peters
- Building type: Basilica
- Architectural style: Italian renaissance
- Material: Stone, marble
- Cost: 200 million marks
Height: 119 meters
- Area: 15160 m²
- Architect: Donato BramanteRafaelFra Gioconda da VeronaGiuliano da SangalloMichał AniołCarlo ModernaG. L. Bernini
The best and most famous architects worked for 120 years to build the temple.
At its main altar, Mass is celebrated by the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church.
However, St. Peter's Basilica is not a cathedral or the official residence of the Pope. Both of these titles are held by St. John Lateran Basilica. However, because St. Peter's Basilica is located next to the papal residence and because of its size, it is where the most important church ceremonies are held.
The construction of the current basilica, which replaced the old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626.
According to Bramante's design, the basilica was built on the plan of an isosceles Greek cross with a massive dome over the center and small domes over the four arms.
The basilica extends 190 meters in depth, and its dome spans 42 meters.
Under the basilica is the tomb of the apostle Peter.
There are more than 100 tombs in St. Peter's Basilica. Among them are 91 tombs of former popes and the tombs of Holy Roman Emperor Otto II and Queen Christina of Sweden.
Designed mainly by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it is the most famous work of Renaissance architecture and one of the largest churches in the world.
The basilica was built of travertine stone and is 220 meters long and 150 meters wide. It covers an area of about 23,000 square meters.
Bernini's masterpiece is the 29-meter-high tabernacle above the main altar, the colonnade, composed of 284 Tuscan columns in 4 rows and 88 pillars, and 162 statues of saints on the balustrade.
The facade, designed by Maderno, is 114.69 meters wide and 45.55 meters high.
None of the works of art in St. Peter's Basilica are paintings, but only give the impression of paintings. They are mostly frescoes or mosaics that have been done with so much elaborate detail that they appear to be paintings.
In the middle of the square stands a 25-foot obelisk that originated in Egypt.
Official website: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_paolo/en/basilica/storia.htm
" The larger, older and richer House of God, associated with the greatest events in world history, is not in the entire Christian world. "