Europe,  Italy,  Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica

Petersdom, Rom, Rome, St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

One of the most popular in Europe and one of the best sights in Rome is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on St. Peter’s Square. The church building impresses every visitor not only with its external appearance but also with the pompous interior. The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City

The Church is called the Basilica of St. Peter and is the memorial church of the apostle Simon Peter. It is one of the seven pilgrimage churches of Rome. It is the sanctuary of Christianity and every year the destination of many tourists, pilgrims and believers of the Roman Catholic Church. The story of St. Peter’s Basilica begins as early as 64 AD with the crucifixion of Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles. Emperor Constantine the Great had the Old Basilica built between 319 AD and 333 AD on the site of the tomb of St. Peter. Today’s St. Peter’s Basilica was not built until the 16th century. This was done at the behest of Pope Julius II.

Petersdom, Rom, Rome, St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

 

Architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world and much more than just the most important building in Christendom. Construction began in 1506 and lasted for more than 120 years. Completion is dated November 18, 1626. Today it is the symbol of Rome. The famous architects were Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Raffael.

Interior fittings

The size of the church indicates: The cathedral houses one main and eight secondary domes, 800 columns, 390 statues made of travertine, marble, stucco and bronze as well as 45 altars. There are also countless treasures inside the classic Renaissance building. These include ornate paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and decorated walls.

Petersdom, Rom, Rome, St. Peter's Basilica
interior view

Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica

The cantilevered dome of the basilica is the largest structure of its kind in the world. The model was the dome of the Pantheon. Those who are not afraid of the 500 steps to the viewing platform will be rewarded with a wonderful and breathtaking view of Rome and the Vatican.

Address

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican city

Opening hours

Winter: Open every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Summer: Open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Entry

Admission is basically free. However, the rush of visitors is very large, so a guided tour with preferential access is recommended. To visit the dome, the treasury and the necropolis, you have to pay an entrance fee.

Tickets & tours

We recommend taking part in a guided tour of the Vatican or St. Peter’s Basilica. Book tickets in advance through our partner to avoid long waiting times.