🇬🇧🇮🇪 Under the Columns.
St. Peter's Basilica is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites.
In Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession.
Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, took more than a century: It began in 1506 and was completed in 1626.
St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage, and is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo. Contrary to popular misconception, Saint Peter's is not a cathedral, as it is not the seat of a bishop. It is properly termed a papal basilica. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral church of Rome.
To the east of the basilica is the Piazza di San Pietro (St. Peter's Square), where I took this shot. The present arrangement, constructed between 1656 and 1667, is the Baroque inspiration of Bernini who inherited a location already occupied by an Egyptian obelisk of the 13th century BC, which was centrally placed. The obelisk, known as "The Witness", at 25.5 metres and a total height, including base and the cross on top, of 40 metres, is the second largest standing obelisk, and the only one to remain standing since its removal from Egypt and re-erection at the Circus of Nero in 37 AD, where it is thought to have stood witness to the crucifixion of St Peter.
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