The St. Peter’s Basilica

The St. Peter’s Basilica

The St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City (exact name Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican City) is a Catholic basilica of the Vatican City, which is the crowning monument of St. Peter’s Square. It is the largest of the papal basilicas of Rome, often described as the largest church in the world and the center of Catholicism. However, it isn’t the cathedral church of the Roman diocese because that title belongs to the Basilica of St. John Lateran defined as the Mother and Head of all the Churches of the City and the World.

The St. Peter’s Basilica is the seat of the main events of the Catholic religion and it is, therefore, in solemn function at the time of papal celebrations such as for Christmas, Easter, the rites of Holy Week, the announcement of the new popes and the funeral of those deceased, the opening and closing of Jubilees and the canonization of new saints. Under Pope Pius IX it hosted the meetings of the First Vatican Council and, under Pope John XXIII and Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council.

The construction of the current St. Peter’s Basilica began April 18, 1506 under Pope Julius II and ended in 1626, during the papacy of Pope Urban VIII, while the arrangement of the square in front ended only in 1667. It is, therefore, a reconstruction, given that in the same site once stood a basilica dating from the fourth century, built by the Roman Emperor Constantine I on the area of the Circus of Nero and an adjoining necropolis where tradition says that St. Peter, the first of the apostles of Jesus, was buried after his crucifixion.

Today you can only imagine the grandeur of the ancient building, immortalized in only some artistic representations: the church, enriched over the centuries with valuable works of art, was divided into five aisles with a wooden roof and had similarities with the basilica of St. Paul outside the walls, had 120 altars of which 27 were dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

For more information on how to book entrance tickets to the Vatican Museums, to the St. Peter’s Basilica an to the Vatican Gardens visit the Rome Museum web site or call us at (+39) 055-713655.
Available Entrance TicketsGuided Group ToursPrivate Guided Tours.
You may also be interested in: Vatican Museums: Private Guided Tour Night Opening – The Catacombs – Titian at the Quirinal Stables

 

Schedule.  Open: from October to March from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm and from April to September from 7:00 am to 7.00 pm 

Address  Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City.

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