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St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

by Ady Sachdeva

Built across the river Tiber, the St Peter’s Basilica is one of the best places to visit in Italy. It is situated upon the site where the chief Apostelic Father,…

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St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

Built across the river Tiber, the St Peter’s Basilica is one of the best places to visit in Italy. It is situated upon the site where the chief Apostelic Father, Saint Peter was martyred, crucified, and laid to rest in 64 AD. As St Peter is regarded as the very first pope, so the pontificate decided to build a church here. Originally, the church was established to house the “Gaius’s Trophy” and to make the bury of St Peter the center of the construction. The monument is a fine example of the artistic excellence achieved over several years. The church is home to Italy’s most famous chefs-d’oeuvre, including, Michelangelo’s Pietà, his striking dome, and Bernini’s baldachin (canopy) placed over the apostolic altar. The church has the capacity to accommodate 20,000 people. The imposing building has a 45.50 meter high nave. The interiors of the church are adorned with the gracious mosaic work and paintings. From the 136-meter-high dome, the visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the square. Carlo Maderno altered the original design of Michelangelo, by widening the facade and placing gigantic statues of Christ, John the Baptist and the apostles. Interestingly, he didn’t install the statue of St. Peter on the balustrade. The statue of the patron saint is placed strategically inside the church. Underneath the basilica lies the burial site of the popes, called the Vatican Grottoes. Tips to visit the church of St Peter in Vatican City:

  • Wear comfortable shoes as you would require to walk a lot.
  • Do not wear shorts or mini skirts. Dress up appropriately.
  • Due to the dearth of good dining options, it is suggested that the visitors must have a nice breakfast before you arrive at the church.
  • You can see the map of the church outside the doors; click a snapshot to avoid carrying a guide book.

The church is one of the treasures of Christianity and one of the places that you wish to visit again and again.

St Peter's Basilica Map

Location map of St. Peter's Basilica

Location map of St. Peter’s Basilica

Facts about St Peter's Basilica

  • The construction of the St Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church, began in 319 and 322 AD.
  • The emperor Constantine initially commissioned the church in 324 AD.
  • The church was dedicated in 326 AD.
  • Its construction got completed in 349 AD.

Where is St Peter's Basilica?

St Peter’s Basilica is built on the Vatican Hill, in Vatican City. The nearest Rome Ciampino Airport is located at about 19.3 km from the church (via Via Appia Nuova/SS7). The best way to reach the church is via metro. You can get down at the nearest station of Ottaviano. Address: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City

Best time to visit St Peter's Basilica

During January, February, November-end to the beginning of December, there is less crowd. Whenever you visit, prefer to visit the Basilica during early hours. It will save you from standing in the queues.

St Peter's Basilica Hours

The church opens on all days from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. during April through September and from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during October to March.

St Peter's Basilica Tickets

  • The entry ticket can be availed at the office that opens on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The ticket is issued free.
  • The visitors in groups with over five members are requested to use the audio guides that are available at the entry gate.
  • The entry to the Vatican Museum is chargeable.

More on St Peter's Basilica

What is St Peter’s Basilica called in the Italian language?
Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano

What are the coordinates of the St Peter’s Basilica?
41.9022° N, 12.4533° E

Which are the interesting places to visit near the church?
Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, Castel Sant’Angelo, Gardens of Vatican City, Apostolic Palace, and Vatican library.


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