Basilica di San Pietro - Saint Peter Basilica, Rome

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    square saint peter and the obelisk
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    right side of the square Saint Peter
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    left side of square Saint Peter
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  • monorailgold's Profile Photo

    St. Peter's- cool things

    by monorailgold Updated Aug 6, 2006

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    touch the cross to wipe away your sins.

    When people go into St. Peter's basilica they do several things. They stare in wonder at all the marble used, the gaze at the baldacchino, they wander around to the different chapels and look at the alter, they see the tombs of the popes, but did you know......There are several things to do that aren't in all the guidebooks. If you walk down the center isle, just before you get to the baldacchino is a wall that has a bronze statue of St. Peter on it. If you touch and/or kiss the foot of St. Peter, it is believed he will bless you on this trip. The foot is worn down from centuries of people doing this. Another really cool thing is the large cross that hangs under a painting of clemens.x.pont. It is said if you touch this cross, all your sins will be forgiven. You can see on the cross where it has been touched for centuries. Another cool thing to do is to look for the ONE actual painting that is in the basilica. All the other "paintings" are really mosaics! We would stand a few feet from the "painting" and try to guess if it was the painting or the mosaic, then we would get as close as we could to see if we were right. These mosaics are so good that they all look like paintings. It's only when you are very close that you can see all the small tiles that were used.

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Awesome!

    by rexvaughan Written Jan 12, 2005

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    Entrance to St. Peter's

    St. Peter's is probably the most impressive church in the world. Its sheer size is incredible: over 600 feet long, 400 feet wide and cover over 6 acres. Of course it is holy ground for Christians all over the world and also for anyone who appreciates great art. Michelangelo of course designed the overwhelming dome, his Pieta is here and Bernini did the large bronze canopy which towers 70 feet over the high altar which is over St. Peter's tomb. A little further behind the altar is St. Peter's throne with Bernini's starburst dove window above.

    I was sorry not to get any photos inside the church, but always honor the requests for no flash or no photos and really dislike tourists who ignore them.

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  • jlee008's Profile Photo

    Basilica di San Pietro

    by jlee008 Updated Nov 23, 2004

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    Piazza San Pietro from the Steps of the Basilica

    The Basilica di San Pietro is a living museum as well as a place of worship. It is built just to the right of Nero's Circus, where Peter was reported to have been crucified. Constantine commissioned the original basilica to be built in 324 over Peter's tomb. The current basilica was built between 1500 and 1600 in the High Renaissance and baroque styles. Many of Italy's great artists leave their artistic marks here (i.e. Michaelangelo, Raphael, etc).

    The Basilica's most famous piece would be Michaelangelo's Pieta. When you walk into the basilica, look to the right. Under protective glass (it was attacked once in the 1970s) is one of the Vatican's greatest treasures. Although the artist was in his early twenties, the sculpture attests to his skills as an artist even at such a young age.

    The most devout Catholics kiss and/or rub the feet of the 13th century bronze sculpture of Peter that sits near a corner pillar to the right.

    You cannot possibly miss the canopy that sits under the dome of the basilica, the baldacchino. This was constructed in 1524 by Bernini. It canopies over the papal altar.

    The other things that really struck me were the incredible mosaics. Such detail and care was given to the construction of the mosaics that they actually looked like paintings until further scrutiny is given. Absolutely spectacular!!!

    Also, fell free to wander downstairs to the grottoes of the Vatican and see the tombs of the popes. Behind the glass in the grottoes is what is considered to be the tomb of Saint Peter himself!!!

    You can also visit the treasury. It is filled with jewel-studded chalices, reliquaries, and copes. If you wander over to the sacristry, you will find the Historical Museum (Museo Storico). It houses many Vatican treasures there on display.

    ADMISSION:
    Basilica - Free
    Stairs to Dome - 3.50€
    Elevator to the Dome 4€

    HOURS:
    Basilica (including the sacristy and treasury) Oct-Mar daily 9am-5:15pm; Apr-Sept daily 9am-6:15pm.

    Grottoes daily 8am-5pm.

    Dome Oct-Mar daily 8am-5pm; Apr-Sept 8am-6pm

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  • Jmill42's Profile Photo

    St Peters Basilica

    by Jmill42 Written Feb 22, 2004

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    The product of 120 years of construction starting in 1506, St Peters Basilica is the crown jewel church for Catholicism. The dome was designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti and the facade was done by Bernini. Out the front door the piazza is a massive and magnificent square designed with some crazy geometric peculiarities, once again done by Bernini. The area can accomodate thousands of people to watch the Pope give speaches or some other event; truly a massive venue. Contained inside is Michelangelo's Pieta, an often copied jewel of the art world. No matter how hot, bring your proper clothes, no shorts or sleeveless shirts allowed; and they WILL stop you at the door.

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  • jlee008's Profile Photo

    Climbing to the Top

    by jlee008 Updated Nov 23, 2004

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    View of Piazza San Pietro from the Top of Dome

    A must do is the climb up the dome of San Pietro. The sights that it offers of Rome and the Piazza San Pietro are breathtaking and spectacular!!!

    ADMISSION:
    Stairs to Dome - 3.50€
    Elevator to the Dome - 4€

    HOURS:
    Dome Oct-Mar daily 8am-5pm; Apr-Sept 8am-6pm

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  • Sandi-2004's Profile Photo

    St. Peter's - It's Sooooo BIG!!!

    by Sandi-2004 Updated Sep 17, 2004

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    St. Peter's Beauty

    It seemed to take us forever just to get across the huge courtyard to join our English speaking tour to go through St. Peter's. Once inside we were in awe of the size and the beauty of this amazing cathedral. Cherubs on either side of the bowls of Holy Water were about 10 ft. tall & 5 ft. wide.

    Click on the photo to see the tiny size of the people inside this one section of the cathedral.
    The surface area of St. Peter's is 163,182.2 sq. feet. The length of the basilica including the vestibule is 693.8 feet. Other great cathedrals of the world could easily fit inside of St. Peters.

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  • freddie18's Profile Photo

    St. Peter Basilica

    by freddie18 Updated Aug 27, 2006

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    I went to the Vatican City twice and have admired the basilica on both ocassion with its huge and very impressive architecture. Michaelangelo who designed the Dome did an incredible job as it became one of the largest in the world. It was Wednesday when we first visited the church. We were fortunate enough that Pope Benedict held mass in the Square in honour of Pope John Paul II and attended by thousands of people from around the world. Our second visit to the church was in the early afternoon of the next day, Thursday, and again there were too many people waiting for the Pope to address the audience. There was a stage just beside the Basilica where Pope Benedict XVI speak before the thousands of youth from around the world to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of World Youth Day. The coincidence was overwhelming.

    If you are visiting Rome for the first time, Vatican City especially the St. Peter Basilica is a 'must see'. You can inquire for a FREE ninety-minute tour from the information desk to the right as you enter the portico of the basilica.

    Just be aware of what you are wearing when you visit the basilica. Proper dress code is strictly enforced. Don't take chances, dress appropriately.

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  • Andraf's Profile Photo

    Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter Basilica)

    by Andraf Updated Nov 30, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica di San Pietro, Rome

    This must be the world's most imposing church. At least for me it is. I've never seen a church of such colossal dimensions. It's simply huge and impressive. The present church dates from the 15th century when it was decided to replace the earlier St. Peter church. The rebuilding lasted until the 17th century. Among the artists that worked on the design of the new basilica are Bramante and Michelangelo. Inside the church, near the entrance is Michelangelo's Pieta which is so beautiful; it's a pity that nowadays one has to see it from the distance (due to an incident in 1972). Also very impressive is Bernini's baldacchino that rises above the papal altar.

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  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Basilica San Pietro

    by codrutz Written Jan 21, 2006

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    This is simply the best church of Christianity, the biggest and the holiest. Many pages can be written about it, but you can't just read, you have to see it to believe it. It is spectacular from outside and even more great from the inside. Tip: one can take pictures of the inside, but it is forbidden to use a tripod. There are a number of features inside the San Pietro Basilica, like Bernini's Canopy, San Pietro's burial chamber (in the catacombs), burial chambers for many Popes (now also for John Paul IInd) that you just have to spend some hours to see. Useful tips: People showing too much skin - shoulders or legs - are strictly forbidden to enter the Basilica, so be sure you get a pairs of long pants for men and at least a veil for covering your girlfriend's shoulders!

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  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Text around the ceiling of San Pietro Basilica

    by codrutz Written Jan 21, 2006

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    Maybe you won't notice, so I tell you: Look up to the beautiful ceiling of San Pietro Basilica and observe a strip going all around the church with a very long inscription. I don't know yet what it is saying, but if I will be curious enough to google this I will share this info here.

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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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  • 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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  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    On the top of Basilica San Pietro

    by codrutz Written Jan 21, 2006

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    Ok, so enough about the interior, now lets climb the cu pole of this majestic church :) Indeed one can take the tour to the top of the cupola, inside then outside, around and on top to have a breathtaking view of San Pietro Square and of the Vatican City. Useful tip: you have to be in a pretty good physical condition to climb all the way up, be advised of tight places and steep climbs. But it is worth it, like it is worth climbing Eifel Tower in Paris. Check out the pictures - main one shows the outside cupola and zoom in to see the people! - check out the narrow passages, the tired people looking for shadow and the view up to the Saint Angelo.

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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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  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    More inside San Pietro Basilica

    by codrutz Updated May 2, 2006

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    San Pietro Basilica is, as I have already stated, simply the nicest church I have ever seen. Round roofs of the cupolas are godly painted, the few windows let in a heavenly light and the marble statues are microscopically crafted .. the marble looks really like twisted silk.

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