Rita Bay’s Wonders of the World #3: St. Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica, is a Late Renaissance (1506-1526) church within Vatican City which is surrounded by Rome,Italy.  St. Peter’s is located west of the River Tiber and near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian’s Mausoleum. Its central dome dominates the skyline of Rome. The basilica is approached via St. Peter’s Square, a forecourt in two sections, both surrounded by tall colonnades.

St. Peter’s is one of the holiest Catholic sites and has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. In Roman Catholic tradition, St. Peter’s is said to be the burial site of Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles and the first Bishop of Rome and pope.  Saint Peter’s tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. Numerous burials have been discovered in the crypt.

St. Peter’s is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as one of the greatest buildings of its age. St.Peter’s has a wealth of art (see the Pieta) and architecture within the church.   The Vatican also contains the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican libraries, the residence of the Pope and many other sites.

Tomorrow, The Pantheon    Rita Bay

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