Basilica di San Pietro - Saint Peter Basilica, Rome

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  • right side of the square Saint Peter
    right side of the square Saint Peter
    by gwened
  • square saint peter and the obelisk
    square saint peter and the obelisk
    by gwened
  • arriving on via della conciliazione to St Peter's
    arriving on via della conciliazione to...
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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    San Pietro in Vincoli - Moses by Michelangelo

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 26, 2011

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    Moses by Michelangelo
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    The church of San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains) is totally unattractive in its exterior aspect. Those who aren't informed about its interiors and what is preserved there could easilly skip it wehn strolling around.
    Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II, ordered Michelangelo to build him a funeral monument, and the first statue by the artist, the Moses, is the masterpiece that draws most tourists to this church. This statue was suppose to be the central figure of an huge mausoleum which was to have included 40 statues.
    Moses by Michelangelo shows the superb design of the artist and proving why he is considered as the best sculptor of all times. This sculpture of Moses is among the most moving images of western art.
    The two statues of Rachael and Leah, which symbolize the active and contemplative life, were also designed by Michelangelo.

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  • Maria81's Profile Photo

    Roman Churches

    by Maria81 Updated Aug 15, 2011

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    San Giovanni dei Fiorentini Church

    What to see?

    - St Peter’s Basilica
    - St Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls (San Paolo Fuori le Mura)
    - Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica
    - San Giovanni Basilica
    - San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura
    - Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
    - Sanctuary of Divino Amore
    - San Sebastiano Fuori le Mura
    - San Clemente
    - San Stefano Rotondo
    - San Pietro in Vincoli
    - Santa Maria in Aracoeli
    - Chiesa il Gesu'
    - Santa Minerva
    - San Luigi dei Francesi
    - Sant'Ignazio
    - Basilica of Santa Sabina
    - Santa Maria in Cosmedin
    - San Giovanni dei Fiorentini

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    St Peter's

    by mindcrime Written Mar 20, 2011

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    St Peter���s basilica
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    Although the highlight of our visit to Vatican was the museum we spend some time at St Peter’s basilica too.

    It is located at piazza San Pietro which was decorated with a big Christmas tree a huge manger. There were hundreds of people waiting in line to get into the cathedral (there’s a delay because of the security check in, hopefully we went in from the museum) but the square has a capacity of thousands of people.

    The square is circled by 2 long row of colossal colonnades and if you go to a specific spot near the fountains the 2 rows of the columns will look like one!
    At the center of the square you can see another Egyptian obelisk (41meters high).

    St Peter’s basilica is impressive for one simple reason, it is huge(187meters long with 11 chapels, 50 altars and hundrerds of statues!). Although we knew about it we were surprised of the interior (pic 2), amazing place with a capacity of 60000 people! Believe or not you can spend hours there, I don’t want to offend anyone but I had a feeling that I was inside a huge museum and not a religious place, it’s hard to feel that anyway on a regular day when it’s full of happy, noisy tourists that take pictures but of course some other people go there to pray (pic 3).

    The cathedral was built upon the relics of another (big) cathedral that was on the same spot until the 16th century. It’s better to have a guide book with you so to know what you are looking because there are many things that worth to be seen in the cathedral, especially some top class items made by people like Raphael, Bernini and Michelangelo. Hard to mention everything here but of course make sure you wont miss the Pieta (pic 4) the amazing renaissance sculpture (made by Michelangelo in 1499) which is behind a bullet proof glass!

    You can also go up the Cuppola and have a nice view over the city. You can take the lift or climb the 500 steps!

    The basilica opens daily at 7.00am and there’s no entrance fee (you have to pay only for the Cupolla).
    Go early on Sunday morning for the mass. For Wednesday Papal audience you have to book your (free) ticket online.

    The last thing we did at Vatican was a visit under the Basilica where the crypt is located to check St.Peter’s tomb but also numerous burial rooms including Popes (pic 5).

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  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    Make a game plan to visit the Basilica

    by jlanza29 Updated Jan 22, 2010

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    This photo was taken at 7:00 a.m.

    Ok, first thing is first....make a plan to see St. Peter's Basilica !!!!! We didn't and we had to rush thru it !!! and we spent 4 hrs in it, and felt rushed !!!! Another tip would be to buy a book specifically on the Vatican or St. Peter's !!!! The Basilica opens at 7:00 am every day. remeber you are in an active place of worship so dress accordingly. Admission is free but you must go thru secruity to enter the Basilica. Once inside you will be astound to see the size of it. If you get here early as we did make a right turn as soon as you get in to see one of the most beautiful masterpiece ever created by human hands, Michaelangelo's ..... Pieta.... After that start along and make your way all around and then to the crypt of the pope's, and as you'll see there are huge lines everywhere, but the one to go to the top of the dome was none existing when we first got there, but the time we were done with Basilica it was more than 5 blocks long to get to the top, that's why I say make a game plan..... One of the world's truely great sites !!!!

    As for St. Peter's square it's a great place to sit and people see !!!!!

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Interior Highlights

    by von.otter Updated Dec 8, 2009

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    St Peter���s, the Nave, May 2007
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    “The building of St. Peter’s surpasses all powers of description. It appears to me like some great work of nature, a forest, a mass of rocks, or something similar; for I never can realize the idea that it is the work of man. You strive to distinguish the ceiling as little as the canopy of heaven. You lose your way in St. Peter’s; you take a walk in it, and ramble till you are quite tired; when divine service is performed and chanted there, you are not aware of it till you come quite close. The angels in the Baptistery are enormous giants, the doves, colossal birds of prey; you lose all sense of measurement with the eye, or proportion; and yet who does not feel his heart expand when standing under the dome and gazing up at it?”
    — Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

    Standing at the central entry door looking down the nave of Basilica di San Pietro the view does take on a force-of-nature quality. And gazing up into the underside of the dome makes one feel so small.

    The Basilica has 450 statues, 500 columns and 50 altars; it has a capacity to hold 60,000 people. It is the second basilica to stand on the site. Emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity in AD 316, built the first St. Peter’s after making Christianity the state religion. It was almost as large as the present church. By the 16th century more than a thousand years of wear and tear had taken their toll; the old church was crumbling.

    In 1506 the architect Donato Bramante, who was engaged by Pope Julius II to design a new basilica, unveiled his plan. Over the years the task of executing the plan passed to a number of artists/architects, including Raphael and Michelangelo, all of whom made changes along the way. The basilica was not finished until 1614.

    Begin your tour of the Basilica with the Chapel of the Pietà (see photo #4), the first chapel on the right aisle. This is the finest sculpture the church has to offer. The Pietà by Michelangelo, which he carved when he was only 24 years of age, represents the Madonna’s sorrow, holding Her dead Son, and Her acceptance of the will of God. It is the masterpiece of Michelangelo’s youth. Because rumors had reached Michelangelo that some admirers were attributing his work to another artist, this is his only signed work. Michelangelo chiseled his name on the sash across the Madonna’s chest.

    As you face the High Altar, on the right and against one of the four immense piers supporting the dome, is the noble sculpture in bronze of St. Peter Enthroned (see photo #5). This is the work of the 13th century Florentine sculptor, Arnolfo di Cambio. Our Saint’s feet have been worn smooth by the faithful kissing or touching the bronze to bring them buona fortuna.

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  • eugini2001's Profile Photo

    St.Peter's Basilica

    by eugini2001 Written Sep 21, 2009

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    St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is the symbolic "Mother church" of the Catholic Church and is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom" In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession.You can see a lot of nuns and monks who came to pray there and there are a lot of people who prays in a quiet grotto that contains more than 100 tombs, including St. Peter’s. There is special praying area in a church if you need to focus on a prayer in a quiet atmosphere. I am Orthodox, not Catholic, but this place was important for me, since Apostle Peter is respected by all Christians and we honor him the same way Catholic Church does, because at the Peter’s time there was no division between Eastern and Western Churches, they were one whole thing, I think that’s the reason our services are alike in a certain way. I’m not a big fan of Michelangelo and any sculptures and statues, but the church keeps one of this famous works.
    La Pietà (1499) is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French cardinal Jean de Billheres, who was a representative in Rome. The statue was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century.
    This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular by that time in France but not yet in Italy. Michelangelo's interpretation of the Pietà is unique to the precedents. It is an important work as it balances the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism. The statue is one of the most highly finished works by Michelangelo

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    St Peter's & The Vatican

    by MM212 Updated Jul 16, 2009

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    Saint Peter's (Nov 1999)
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    A state within a state, the Vatican is centre of the Catholic world. It inherited this importance from the Roman Empire, which had made Rome, its capital, as the seat of the Empire's new religion. For visitors, the Vatican contains numerous sites of interest, including the Basilica of St Peter's, built in the 16th century on the shrine of St Peter's, as well as the Vatican Museum and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Also, Castel Sant'Angelo is within the Vatican's borders. The attached photos are from November 1999, my first visit to the Vatican.

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  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    St. Peters Basillica

    by roamer61 Written May 4, 2009

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    St. Peters Basillica
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    This is the center of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the largest church in the corld and the home of the Pope. It gets its name for the alleged burial site of the Apostle Simon, called Peter, after he was martyred by the Romans. A basillica was built on the spot in the 4th Century by Constantine the Great. But after many centuries, it fell into mis-repain and it wasn't until the 16th century (1500s) that the basillica was rebuilt. It took 120 years and numerous artisans left their mark, including Bramante and Michelangelo. The final part was of course the great dome. The interior was worked on by Bernini amongst others.

    The Basillica can be see before St, Peters Square, also designed in part by Michelangelo. The vatican is actually a seperate state. This was put in writing during the rule of Benito Mussolini in the 1920s.

    Today, millions come from around the world to see the great basillica and its art treasures, and of course to seek audience with the pontiff.

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  • Susumarie's Profile Photo

    The Most Beautiful Church in Europe

    by Susumarie Written Oct 3, 2008

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    Front steps of St. Peters
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    I definitely think you cannot make a trip to Rome without a stop at St. Peter's. This has to be the most beautiful church we saw in our trip, all the gorgeous carvings, magnificient statues, the side chapels themselves look like beautiful churches on their own.

    The Pieta is absolutely breathtaking; I don't understand how human hands can create such artwork, but it would be a sin to be in Rome and not see it.

    I was so moved to see so many people still kneeling and crying around John Paul II's tomb; that is how much effect he had. But also to be next to what is supposed to be the burial spot of our first Pope is mind boggling.

    Do not be intimidated if there is a long line to enter. You do have to go through security (but it is free to enter). There was a line that reached to the back of the square when we arrived, but it didn't take long at all to get in. Just watch out for the guards -- they are a little scary, with no humor to them whatsoever...

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  • doug48's Profile Photo

    st. peter's basilica

    by doug48 Updated Sep 2, 2008

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    st. peters from the tiber

    a visit to rome would not be complete with out seeing st. peter's basilica and vatican city. the original basilica was built on the site of the martyrdom of st. peter and was called basilica beato petro apostolo. the construction of the basilica was ordered by emperor constantine and was completed in 340AD. pope julius II ordered the construction of a new basilica in 1506 and it was completed in 1665. most of the great architects and artists of the roman renaissance period made contributions to this magnificent building. st. peter's is one of the most ornate christian churches in the world. to take in all of the attractions and museums of vatican city you need to alocate a full day.

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  • rita_simoes's Profile Photo

    Piazza San Pietro e Basilica di San Pietro

    by rita_simoes Updated Oct 14, 2007

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    As soon as you enter this square, you are immediately struck by it's beauty and grandeur. And also by the hundreds of tourists in line to enter the basilica. It's quite difficult for it to be a religious experience.

    You can visit the basilica for free. It is beautiful and huge, in my opinion, a little too much (I prefer more cosy ones). Be sure to see the Pietà of Michelangelo, at the entrance to your right, and the magnificent 'baldacchino', right in the center of the dome. You can spend hours just looking at all the statues and paintings decorating the walls!

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  • TONY786's Profile Photo

    St Peters bascillica -Rome

    by TONY786 Written Oct 11, 2007

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    Be prepared for a jaw dropping amazing experience, i have seen many things but the beauty and devotion that has gone into this beautiful structure is amazing.after the popes address we went inside and was lucky enough to have mass and communion in a main alter area taken by 3 cardinals in latin with a choir...amazing

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  • pasquito's Profile Photo

    San Pietro in Montorio

    by pasquito Written Jun 24, 2007

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    Many people ask me where they can go to in Rome to get away from their fellow tourists. My answer is always climb up the hill to visit the tiny, perfect, church of San Pietro in Montorio. It is semi-hidden in the courtyard of the Spanish School at Rome, but the building is always open. It was built by Donato Bramante in about 1502, to mark the supposed spot of the martyrdom of St Paul the apostle. You will probably have the place to yourself to examine and enjoy.

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    St. Peter`s cathedral

    by MichaelFalk1969 Written May 16, 2007

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    A catholic wonder of the world, framed by beautiful St. Peters square. Though it is debatable whether St. Peter is the biggest church in the world, it is certainly the most important in regard of its history, elaborate architecture (contributed by Michelangelo and Bernini) and the presence of the pope. Built on the supposed grave of the apostle Peter, it was started in 1506 and finished in 1626. Do not miss the viewing platform of St. Peters - marvelous view on the city and St. Peters square.

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  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    St Peter's Bascilica

    by fishandchips Updated Apr 5, 2007

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    St Peter's

    St Peter was allegedly buried here in A.D. 64 near the site of his execution (at Circus of Nero, where he was, in theory, crucified). In 324 Constantine, after his battle field epiphany, commissioned a basilica to be built over St Peter's tomb. This was the starting point of what you visit today. The present basilica was mostly completed in the 1500s and 1600s and is predominantly High Renaissance and baroque. The inside of the church is massive with work by the great artists: Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Maderno. A piece of the original cross of Christ and the rag that Mary wiped the blood off Christ's brow are also apparently located here behind doors above you in the middle of the church.

    If you go down to the Vatican grottoes you can see the tombs of the popes plus, behind a wall of glass, is what's assumed to be the tomb of St. Peter himself. To go even farther down, to the necropolis vaticana, the area around St. Peter's tomb, you must apply in advance at the Ufficio Scavi (tel. 06-69885318). For 10euros , you'll get a guided tour of the tombs that were excavated in the 1940s, about 7 metres beneath the church floor.

    St Peter's is prided (one of the 7 deadly sins?) as being the biggest church in the world. The floor is marked with how big some of the other more notable churches around the world compare to St Peter's incl St Paul's (London) & Notre Dame (Paris) which both fall well short of the massiveness of St Peter's.

    Be warned - you cannot enter here wearing shorts or a short skirt. The guards also usually require upper arms to be covered. No matter how hot it is outside this strict dress code is always enforced.

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