St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City is a very popular tourist destination. It is considered as one of the holiest sites in the world by Catholics and has captured the interests of people of other faiths. It is also known as Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano in Italy and is considered as the greatest church of Christendom. It is believed that it is where Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles, was crucified and buried. Catholics believe that St. Peter’s tomb lies below the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Aside from its religious significance, St. Peter’s Basilica is a marvel of a place to visit. The architecture, the altars, the monuments, the statues, and the grandness of the place itself is an awesome sight that will mesmerize anybody. There are many interesting things to see in this amazing place. The two beautiful fountains in St. Peter’s Square is a fitting welcome sight to visitors, the south-left fountain was by Carlo Maderno and the northern-right one was by Bernini. On the square is a monumental colonnade by Bernini and on top of the colonnade are 140 statues of saints done by different sculptors. The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica was designed by Michelangelo who was the chief architect in 1546. Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ which he did when he was just 24 in the right aisle near the entrance is an eye-catcher, the sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary holding Jesus in her lap after the crucifixion. It is also interesting to see the statues of the saints who founded religious orders inside and the bronze statue of St. Peter Enthroned in the northwestern corner. The crypt below deserves a visit too as it houses the architectural fragments of early churches on the site and the tombs of Popes including the one of Pope John Paul II. There is a chapel in this crypt and a glass wall at the end where tourist can view the reliquary below the altar which is believed to contain the bones of St. Peter. St. Peter’s Basilica is truly an interesting place to visit, aside from its rich cultural and religious history it is also home to many beautiful and striking works of art.

Bernini's monumental colonnade with saints


Bernini's Cathedra Petri

The altar with Bernini's baldacchino

Bronze statue of St. Peter

Old location of Vatican Obelisk

Inside Michelangelo's dome

Decoration of the huge cupola

The fountain designed by Bernini

The fountain designed by Maderno

The Lantern

The Pieta

Chapel in the crypt facing tomb of St. Peter

photos: sacreddestinations, stpetersbasilica