The Egyptian obelisk is located in the center of St. Peters Square and is flanked by two eight meters high fountains on the northern and southern sections of the square, the northern fountain was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the southern fountain was the work of Carlo Maderno. The obelisk was constructed of red granite and is approximately 25 meters high. The total height of the obelisk including its base and the cross on top is approximately 40 meters high.
The 13th century BC Egyptian obelisk was brought to Rome to stand in the Circus of Nero by Emperor Caligula in 37 AD. The Italian engineer architect Domenico Fontana moved the obelisk to St. Peters Square in the 16th century on Pope Sixtus V order. Incidentally it is the only obelisk in Rome that has not been toppled since the Roman era!
Two beautiful Vatican fountains were erected on the northern and southern sections of St. Peters Square in the heart of the Vatican City. Both of them are approximately eight meters high. The south fountain was designed by Carlo Maderno in the year 1613 whereas the north fountain was the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini who added the fountain to the square in the year 1675. The Egyptian obelisk is located between the two fountains roughly in the center of the square. Both these fountains provide excellent background for beautiful souvenir snapshots and are very popular with local and foreign tourists! They are also favourite meeting places for the locals. Don't miss the fountains when you visit St. Peters Basilica.
The square was designed by Bernini & built between 1656 and 1667, the oval measures 340m by 240m. In the centre is an Egyptian obelisk, this is flanked by two symmetrical fountains. Round the side drawing you towards the basilica are 284 column, 88 pillar colonnades. On top of these are 140 statues of saints.
You're never alone in the square, there's a queue round the outside of people waiting to enter the Vatican. In the centre there are always people stood having their photo taken. I enjoyed escaping the Summer heat by sitting in the shade inside the colonnades.
St. Peters Square was designed and constructed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini between 1656 and 1667 under Pope Alexander VII. He also contributed to the design of the elegant Colonnades. St. Peters Square is surrounded by two rows of impressive semi-circular Colonnades of Baroque style of architecture with Egyptian obelisk in the center flanked by two fountains in the north and south.
The semi-circular Colonnades comprise approximately 280 Tuscan form of Doric columns which are four columns deep and are approximately 120 meters long. The columns have a height of approximately 13 meters high. On top of the Colonnades stand approximately 140 Statues of the Saint. Please flip through our photographs above to view some close-up pictures of the Statues of the Saint on the balustrade!
The impressive and elegant facade of St. Peter's Basilica was designed by Carlo Maderno in the early 17th century. It measures approximately 115 meters wide and 55 meters high. On the balustrade are travertine statues of Christ the Redeemer and his twelve Apostles.
The statues from left to right are as follows:- St. Thaddeus (not visible in our main photo), St. Matthew, St. Philip, St. Thomas, St. James the Elder, St. John the Baptist, Christ the Redeemer (right in the center), St. Andrew, St. John the Evangelist, St. James the Younger, St. Bartholomew, St. Simon and St. Mattias.
St. Peters Square (Piazza San Pietro in Italian) is located in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the heart of the Vatican City. It has a total area of approximately 30,000 square meters. It measures approximately 200 meters long and 150 meters wide.The square was constructed in the middle of the 17th century and was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in Baroque style with Feast of Corpus Christi in mind.
There is an old Egyptian obelisk dated from the 13th century BC erected in the center of the square with fountains on both sides. The obelisk itself is approximately 25 meters high. The total height reaches approximately 40 meters high including the base. St. Peters Square today is used for public masses, ceremonies and for Sunday's recital and angelus with the Pope.
After walking through the Vatican Museums and, the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter's Basilica, we decided to sit down and admire the St. Peter Square from where you can see the windows of the Pope's bedroom. If they are lighted at night, means the pope is in town, if not, well, then he is not in town! (pretty obvious hehe). The two windows at the right corner are the Pope's bedroom (see picture).
I am not sure if anybody would be impressed by the numbers, like how long the colonades are, how many of them there are, what is their height etc. To me it is nice piece of work, designed by Bernini, and fitting perfectly well in the ambient of the holy city. The colonades accentuate the central position of the basilica, making it even more attractive. The whole square, however, become visually larger than it actually is. Not of less importance, it looks very impressive in its monumentality.
Each square in Rome, no matter if small or big, has its own fountain dedicated to the famous Romans or to the important events in the history of the city. No wonder there are two fountains aswell on the Piazza San Pietro, located on the eastern and the western sides of the square. The left one is dedicated to Bernini while the right one to Maderno.
This beautiful square is a good resting place at the end of a tiring day. After you visit Vatican Museum, go upto Cuppola and finally visit St Peter's Basilica, you can watch the people flocking to Vatican as you sit on a corner. This square is fully occupied on Sundays by people coming to watch Pope.
• Leading up to the Bassillica is the 17th-century St Peter’s Square, a superb creation by Bernini. On either side are semicircular colonnades, and in the centre of the square is an Egyptian obelisk hewn in the reign of Caligula.
Its awe inspiring, inspirational, humbling in a way, a treasure trove of art works, a masterpiece of engineering, all this and more (and I am not Catholic)
Entering St Peters Square is a feeling all on its own, you have seen this place in the news, in TV broadcasts, and suddenly here you are yourself. The symetry of the place is perfect and it does have a special feel.
Saint Peter's Square, or Saint Peter's Piazza (Italian: Piazza San Pietro), is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome (the Piazza borders to the East the rione of Borgo).
The fact, alone, that the great and truly unique Basilica of St. Peter's in Vatican faces out on this square wonld make it perhaps the most widely known of Roman piaz-zas. But above and beyond this, the space itself merits at-tention for its size (an enormous ellipse whose greatest di-ameter measures 240 m.) and the brilliant project by Gian Lorenzo Bernini whose scope was that of singling out this square from all others throngh the use of the imposing porticoes.
These porticoes are arranged in semicircles along the short sides of the square and consist of four parallel rows of Tuscan-Doric columns which provide a choice of three paths. Above the canonic entablature are 140 colossal statues of Saints, as well as the insignia of the patron pope, Alexander VII. At the center of the square, the plain obelisk, flanked by two fountains, stands at the crossing of the two diameters of the ellipse. Termed " aguglia " (needle) in the Middle Ages, the obelisk came from Heliopolis and was brought to Rome by the em-peror Caligula, and set on the spina of Nero's Circus,which is where St. Peter's in Vatican now stands. Throughout the various phases of restoration, destruc-tion, and reconstruction, the " aguglia " stayed next to the Basilica and was not set up at the center of the square until 1586 by Domenico Fontana, who also saw to the en-ginecring aspect of the undertaking.
The other architect, Carlo Fontana, designed the left-handiountain in Piazza San Pietro, built in 1677 as a pendant to the one on the right designed by Carlo Maderno about fifty years earli-er. A curious fact concerning the obelisk mentioned above is that it was used, or was believed to have been used in the Middle Ages, as a reliquary for the ashes of Caesar, and then (up to now) for a fragment of the Holy Cross.
On the night of St. Peter's death, those who loved him presented themselves before the civil authorities and made the same request that Joseph of Arimathea made to Pilate for the body of our Lord. We can be certain that among them were St. Linus, St. Anacletus, and St. Clement, the three immediate successors to the pastorship of the infant Church. Their request was one that was never at this period refused. It was the Roman law that when sentence of death had been carried out, the bodies of those put to death must be handed over to the relatives.
Architect: Giacomo della Porta
Location: Vatican City, surrounded by Rome, Italy
Date: 1546 to 1564 and 1590
Building Type: church
Construction System: bearing masonry
Style: Italian Renaissance
Notes: With Michelangelo. "New St. Peter's" or "Saint Peter's" or "San Pietro". Centralized dome plan.