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    Saint Peter’s Basilica

    Piazza San Pietro

    La basilique Saint-Pierre

    En italien : Basilica San Pietro

    The heart of the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest of the Christian world, with a length of 186 meters, a 46-meter tall nave and its dome peaking at 136 meters.
    The interior can accommodate 20,000 people over an area of 22,000 m².

    The first basilica was built by the Emperor Constantine about the year 320, where the the tomb of St. Peter supposed was and where he was martyred along with other Christians, near the Circus of Nero.

    Over nearly a thousand years, the monument has been enlarged and enriched, but also looted and damaged.
    The first major restoration occurred in the 15th century by Pope Nicolas V, under the direction of Leon Battista Alberti and Bernardo Rossellino.
    But in the early sixteenth century Pope Julius II demolished the building and asked Bramante to rebuild it with a Greek cross plan. Upon the Pope’s death, the project was changed to a Latin cross and entrusted to Raphael.Later, Peruzzi and Michelangelo succeeded him.
    St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated in 1626.
    The design of the dome was by Michelangelo and was completed by Giacomo Dalla Porta in 1589.

    The interior is attributed to Bernini, who worked in the church for twenty years. We also have to thank him for the design of Saint Peter’s Square with its stunning quadruple colonnade.

    Saint Peter’s preserves many valuable works of art, including ten thousand square meters of mosaics, Michelangelo’s Pietà, Bernini’s Baldachin, the monument to Christina of Sweden of Carlo Fontana and the one dedicated to Countess Matilda built by Canossa.

     

    Opening times of the basilica

    • From 1st of October to 31th of March : 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily except Wednesday (where if papal audience, the Basilica opens at 12am).
    • From 1st of April 1 to 30th of September : 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily except Wednesday (where if papal audience, the Basilica opens at 12am).
    • Free admission.
    • Cupola : October to March every day from 8 a.m. to 4.45 p.m., and until 5.45 p.m. from April to September.

    Learn more and informations

     

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    Location

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    Basilique Saint-Pierre

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    Basilique Saint-Pierre 41.902266, 12.458517 Basilique Saint-Pierre

    Tours in Saint Peter’s basilica and others




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