JUBILEE CULTURAL ROUTES

St. Peter’s Basilica

You are along the route: THE PATRONS OF ROME. HISTORY OF PETER AND PAUL

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Piazza San Pietro
www.vaticanstate.va
Every day. Winter (October-March): 07:00-18:00. Summer (April-September): 7:00-19:00. Free entry.

St. Peter was martyred during persecution by Emperor Nero in the circus of Caligula, in the area known at that time as Vaticano. This is why Constantine, the first Christian emperor, built a great Basilica dedicated to the saint on this site in the fourth century.
In the fifteenth century, the building was gradually transformed into something completely new. Renowned artists took turns to manage the renovation work, which lasted more than 150 years. Bramante and Giuliano da Sangallo,Raffaello, Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane and Baldassarre Peruzzi, Michelangelo, who designed the dome, Pirro Ligorio and il Vignola, Giacomo Della Porta and Domenico Fontana, and on to Carlo Maderno who, in the early seventeenth century, completed the structure in its present form, to which Bernini later added the majestic colonnade of the square, centred on the ancient obelisk from the Circus of Caligula.
The extraordinary sequence of monuments erected around and above the humble tomb of Peter is impressive; the high altar of the ancient basilica of Constantine was in fact perfectly aligned with the underlying tomb of the apostle. This orientation was maintained in all subsequent phases in the reconstruction of the basilica: the altars built by various popes up to Clement VIII are, with significant continuity, all in the same point and later covered by a canopy by Bernini under the magnificent dome by Michelangelo.

Foto ©Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano


How to get the step: St. Peter’s Basilica

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Città del Vaticano

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