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St Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica
Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican
  • Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano  (Italian)
  • Basilica Sancti Petri  (Latin)
Ornate building in the early morning with a giant order of columns beneath a Latin inscription, fourteen statues on the roofline, and large dome on top.
Main façade and dome of St. Peter's Basilica
Map showing the various buildings and structures of Vatican City in green and purple with a red dot on top of St. Peter's Basilica
Map showing the various buildings and structures of Vatican City in green and purple with a red dot on top of St. Peter's Basilica
Location on a map of Vatican City
41°54′08″N 12°27′12″E / 41.90222°N 12.45333°E / 41.90222; 12.45333Coordinates: 41°54′08″N 12°27′12″E / 41.90222°N 12.45333°E / 41.90222; 12.45333
Location Vatican City
Country Holy See
Denomination Roman Catholic
Tradition Latin Rite
Website St. Peter's Basilica
History
Dedication Saint Peter
Consecrated 18 November 1626
Architecture
Status Papal major basilica
Architect(s)
Style Renaissance and Baroque
Groundbreaking 18 April 1506
Completed 18 November 1626 (1626-11-18)
Specifications
Length 730 feet (220 m)
Width 500 feet (150 m)
Height 448.1 feet (136.6 m)
Nave height 151.5 feet (46.2 m)
Dome diameter (outer) 137.7 feet (42.0 m)
Dome diameter (inner) 136.1 feet (41.5 m)
Administration
Diocese Rome
Clergy
Archpriest Angelo Comastri
Official name Vatican City
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv, vi
Designated 1984 (8th session)
Reference no. 286
State Party Holy See
Region Europe and North America

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican (Italian: Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply St. Peter's Basilica (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.

Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and one of the largest churches in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".

Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, one of Christ's Apostles and also the first Pope. Saint Peter's tomb is supposedly directly below the high altar of the Basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter's since the Early Christian period, and there has been a church on this site since the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica, which would replace Old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.


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