The first Basilica was built following the signing of the Edict of Constantine in 313 as a symbol of Christianity. It was built around 333, on the site where the Apostle Peter was crucified.
After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, many works were abandoned and left to be looted and at the end of the Avignon Captivity, the papal seat returned to be the Vatican.
After all these events, St. Peter’s was very badly reduced so it was decided to demolish the structure of the time and build a new basilica.
In 1626 the Basilica was consecrated by Pope Urban VIII although the interior was definitively finished in 1667. The complete realization of the complex took more than 150 years.
Inside St. Peter’s there are 45 altars and 11 chapels and houses countless artistic works such as Michelangelo’s La Pietà. At the bottom of the nave is the statue of St. Peter depicted giving the blessing.
Symbol of the Catholic Church and the city of Rome is the dome, an imposing work designed by Michelangelo and completed in just two years.
The interior decoration, according to the mosaic technique, presents scenes of Christ, the apostles and busts of popes and saints.
The space below the dome is marked by the monumental Baldacchino di San Pietro, designed by Bernini and erected between 1624 and 1633.
Made with bronze taken from the Pantheon, it is almost 30 meters high and is supported by four columns.
The three naves are decorated with mosaics and countless statues.
On the façade stand the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul, Jesus and John the Baptist.
St. Peter’s Basilica has five huge portals: the Door of Death used for funeral rites, the Door of Good and Evil, the Central Door also called Porta del Filarete, the Door of the Sacraments and finally the Holy Door.