St. Peter’s Basilica in Italy’s Vatican City

St. Peter's Basilica at Early Morning

St. Peter’s Basilica at Early Morning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Peter's Basilica, believed to be the buria...
Image via Wikipedia

In 1506, Bramante was commissioned by Pope Julius II to renovate St. Peter’s Basilica, originally built by Constantine from 324-329.

Emperor Constantine built a glorious crown for St. Peter’s tomb over the site where his bones were preserved.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica (Photo credit: diluvienne)

English: Wide angle View of the altar inside S...

English: Wide angle View of the altar inside St. Peter’s Basilica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Statue of St Peter by Arnolfo di Camb...

English: Statue of St Peter by Arnolfo di Cambio in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Façade of St. Peter's Basilica as see...

English: Façade of St. Peter’s Basilica as seen from Saint Peter’s Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica (Photo credit: JP..)

Saint Peter’s Basilica is built above the site where Peter the Apostle was crucified, martyred and buried in the year 64.

English: Bernini's "Gloria" surmount...

English: Bernini’s “Gloria” surmounting the “Cathedra Petri”, also by him. Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Peter was the first apostle and the first pope. He is always carrying his key.

Saint Peter's Square

Saint Peter’s Square (Photo credit: jimmyharris)

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (Photo credit: kvsankar)

Since Rome is a place of pilgrimage, a “Scave Tour” is available with advanced reservations and allows you to visit the tomb of St. Peter and the archeological excavations beneath the basilica. Travel from the Baroque church to the Romanesque sanctuary to the Roman cemetery and tomb of Peter the Apostle. The crypt is located under the Papal Altar. Pay hommage to St.Peter in the Basilica.

Bronze Statue of St. Peter in St. Peter's Basilica in Italy

The Basilica contains the work of some of Italy’s finest sculptors. Vatican City is the world’s smallest country and occupies 109 acres; it has been a sovereign state since 1929 and is ruled by the Pope.

St. Peter’s Square is equipped with large video screens. When pilgrims and tourists converge upon the area for festivities, spectators have a bird’s eye view of the main event.

St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican

 The red granite obelisk was brought to Rome from Egypt by Emperor Caligula in 37 AD.  It was moved to this square in 1587 by Domenico Fontana.

Emperor Caligula's obelisk at St. Peter's Basilica in Italy

The statues surrounding the obelisk represent the zodiac. There are two 17th century fountains in the square. The fountain on the right (1613) is by Carlo Maderno who also designed the façade of the church. The fountain on the left was added by Bernini in 1675 by Carlo Fontana.

English: A 5x6 segment panoramic image taken b...

English: A 5×6 segment panoramic image taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8L lens from the dome of St Peter’s in Vatican City in Rome. Français: Image panoramique composée de 5×6 photos prises par David Iliff à l’aide d’un appareil Canon 5D et une lentille 70-200mm f/2.8L à partir du dôme de la Basilique Saint-Pierre au Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Columns and Corinthian pilasters decorate the façade. The central balcony above the main entrance is the “Loggia of Benedictions” where the pope delivers the benediction after his election and gives his weekly blessing. Below the cupola, Bernini’s workshop created 13 statues: Christ the Redeemer, John the Baptist and eleven apostles. St. Peter and St. Paul’s 19th century statues welcome visitors on the ground floor of the basilica.

St. Peter’s statue by Giuseppe de Fabris holds the golden key that he received from Christ.

Statue of St. Peter by Giuseppe de Fabris

 St. Paul’s statue by Adamo Tadolini holds the sword that symbolizes his decapitation in Rome.

The dome of the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatica...

The dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The building on the right is the Pope’s residence. The Pope appears every Sunday at noon to say the Angelus and give his apostolic blessing. The colonnade surrounding the square was designed by Bernini between the years 1656 and 1666. They represent two outstretched arms welcoming the faithful to the Basilica. There are 140 statues of saints watching over the Basilica above the colonnade.

St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy

St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are five bronze entrance doors. These sacred doors are symbolic and functional. From left to right these doors represent: Death, Good and Evil, the original door from the old basilica, the Sacraments and the Porta Santa (Holy Door). The Holy Door is only opened during Jubilee years so that religious pilgrims can receive the Pope’s special blessing.

Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Scu...

Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Sculptor: Vico Consorti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holy doors at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City

English: Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's B...

English: Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Français : La Pietà de Michel-Ange située dans la Basilique Saint-Pierre, au Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy and  Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

To learn more about Romevisit www.vino-con-vista.com. Buon Viaggio–

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Filed under Ancient Rome, Baroque Art, ebooks, IPad, Italian art, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Peter the Apostle, Renaissance Art, Rome, Rome History, Rome Italy, St. Peter's Basilica, UNESCO, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

4 responses to “St. Peter’s Basilica in Italy’s Vatican City

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention St. Peter’s Basilica is in the Vatican City « Vino Con Vista Travel Sites -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Cardinal Gracias talks about his favourite saints. « Parchment Paradigm+

  3. Pingback: St Peter Basilica « My News

  4. Pingback: Insights into the Vatican in Italy: UNESCO’s Holy City near Rome | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

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