St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy

St. Peter's Basilica, located in Vatican City, Rome, is the most renowned work of Renaissance Architecture. It was designed mainly by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno, Raphael and Gian Bernini.
Tradition holds that St. Peter's Basilica stands on the burial site of St. Peter, with his tomb being directly below the high altar. St. Peter's grave was initially marked simply by a red rock, a symbol of his name but a shrine was built some years later on the site. In the 4th century AD Old St. Peter's Basilica was built under emperor Constantine. This site became the burial place of almost all popes since St. Peter.
By the end of the 15th century, the Old Basilica had fallen into disrepair, as a result of years of neglect during the Avignon Papacy.  In the early 16th century, Pope Julius II, who was planning an enormous, magnificent tomb for himself designed and adorned with sculptures by Michelangelo, decided to demolish the ancient basilica and replace it with a monumental structure to house his tomb. A succession of popes and architects followed in the next 120 years and it was their combined efforts that produced the building we see today.
The most remarkable feature of St. Peter's, its dome, rises a total height of 136,57 m and is the tallest dome in the world and again was the result of the combined efforts of several architects- Bramante, Sangallo, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Ponte and Domenico Fontana, the last two responsible for bringing the dome to completion in 1590.

Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. Oct. to Mar.). Proper dressing is required (shoulders covered and knee length clothes).
How to go: Ottaviano metro station


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