Any tourist to Rome cannot ward off the temptation of visiting the attraction known as Basilica di San Pietro (in Italian) and St. Peter's Basilica (in English) that stands out as one of the ideal. De facto, there is so much to view at St. Peter's, you could spend an entire day at this place and still desire to come back again. Of the several buildings in Vatican City, St. Peter's basilica is one of the most famous and most frequently visited by tourists to Rome.
The popular myth says that Saint Peter is buried here but that legend is not substantiated by evidence. The actual history of the location of St. Peter's Basilica is that it is probably located on the actual Circus of Nero from the first century.
The historic Christian Roman leader Constantine was the one who directed that a basilica be erected on this place in the fourth century. That erection actually executed 1000 years prior to the construction of St. Peter's.
In the sixteenth century almost 1200 years later, Pope Leo X pushed funds from his appeal to the masses and instructed to go to holy war against the Turks. Those funds were clandestinely used in the building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
|St.Peter’s Basilica Basic Information|
|Geographic Coordinates||41°54′8″N 12°27′12″E|
|Ecclesiastical or Organizational Status||Major basilica|
|St.Peter’s Basilica Architectural Description|
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
|Architectural Style||Renaissance and Baroque|
|St.Peter’s Basilica Specifications|
|Length||730 feet (220 m)|
|Width||500 feet (150 m)|
|Height (max)||452 feet (138 m)|
|Dome dia. (outer)||137.7 feet (42.0 m)|
|Dome dia. (inner)||136.1 feet (41.5 m)|
St. Peter's is a tall structure even by sixteenth century parameters. From the floor to the very peak of the cross on that famous dome above, the basilica stands 445 feet high in the air. That dome is an honorable part of the Roman skyline and it is a fabulous architectural design all in itself. None other than Michelangelo designed the great dome and that famous Renaissance artist facilitated a double-shell design technique that was developed by San Gallo.
Even though Michelangelo worked as the architect St. Peter's in 1546, the completion of the masterpiece took long after his death. With the death of the great master, one of his students, Giacomo della Porta took the liability to complete the work in 1590. The design drafts of the brilliant architects of St. Peter's were frequently facilitated in other great buildings, encompassing the Capital Building in Washington.
That dome was a long lasting design and it wasn't until 200 years later that the first cracks appeared in the surface. To restrain these cracks from doing any more harm, four huge chains of iron were linked to inner part of the shell.
That classic dome is not there in St. Peter's Basilica to see. The interior space of the basilica contains six acres and it can accommodate 60,000 worshipers. And there have been various occasions where it was called upon to accommodate that many people.
The outer facade of the basilica is equally large, standing at 148 feet high and 377 feet wide, and there are several statues standing outside of the building as well.
The St. Peter’s basilica also hosts almost 100 tombs of renowned figures from history. You can experience the history in your vicinity, encompassing the tomb of Queen Christina of Sweden. History explains that she abandoned her royal crown in 1654 just to come to Rome and become a convert to Catholicism.
Undoubtedly the most revered and invaluable art work in the basilica is Michelangelo's Pieta. It can be seen placed under protective glass after a lunatic attacked it with an axe in 1972.
You can also see several ancient old clocks including one that has a bell and which dates back to the last days of the thirteenth century. From that time period, an Egyptian design obelisk stands close to it, the origin of which goes back to Nero's Circus.
A trip to Rome would of totally complete without sparing at least a couple of hours to visit St. Peter's Basilica at your leisure time, taking in the majesty of this mesmerizing depiction of this outstanding architecture from the Renaissance period of history.
The design of St. Peter's Basilica has immensely affected church architecture in Western Christendom. As the spiritual pedestal of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter's Basilica has worked as a model for several remarkable Roman Catholic churches and Basilicas. Some of the most important examples are St. Josaphat’s Basilica, St. Mary of the Angels in Chicago in Milwaukee, Immaculate Heart Heart of Mary in Pittsburgh, as well as the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro.
List of archpriests of the Vatican Basilica