St. Peter's Basilica

To content
St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest construction in Vatican City. It is perhaps the most grandiose and significant Catholic church not only in Italy but in the whole world.

Guests and tourists in Rome are always astonished by the majesty of this attraction. Seems that was the plan of the basilica’s creators.

Either you are a believer or an atheist, remember that it’s a basilica and a museum at the same time. Devote some extra time to exploring it to feel the astonishing atmosphere of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Statue of St. Paul at the entrance to St. Peter's Basilica
Saint Paul's Cathedral © Daniil Belosheikin / Shutterstock

Peculiarities of St. Peter’s Basilica

When you enter through the main portal of the cathedral, pay special attention to the fresco above the entrance. This mosaic dates back to the XIII century and was created by the great Giotto. The doors also deserve your attention. There are five of them but the last one is always closed. It is opened only during jubilees after special rituals by the Pope himself. The central door is usually closed as well. It was transferred from the old basilica. 

Crowd of people in front of the entrances to St. Peter's Basilica
Saint Paul's Cathedral © Irina Mos / Shutterstock

Michelangelo’s Sculpture

The bronze gates of the temple were made in the XIV century. They depict Peter and Paul the Apostles. From the moment you see it, two objects captivate you. On your right, there is a true masterpiece of the Renaissance: “The Pieta” and the bronze baldachin. This sculpture became the only Michelangelo’s work where you can find his monogram. It is located on the stripe going across Madonna’s shoulder.

Sculpture "Lamentation of Christ"
Sculpture by Michelangelo © theculturetrip.com

The dome of the basilica

Once you look up, you can feel the might of the impressive dome. It’s being supported by 4 pillars. Each of them has a statue of a saint: St. Andrew, Helena, Longinus, and Veronica. The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament stores the only oil painting by the painter Pietro da Cortona called “The Holy Trinity”. The bronze baldachin by Bernini is an intricate creation. It is located on the twisted columns and covers the altar of Saint Peter. According to the legend, the sacred hallows are stored here. However, scientists haven’t managed to prove this fact yet.

Incredible frescoes on the dome in St. Peter's Basilica
Dome of St. Peter's Basilica © Fazlyeva Kamilla / Shutterstock

Statue of Saint Peter

The bronze statue of Saint Peter holding the keys of heaven was a relic of significant value back in the Middle Ages. Numerous pilgrims who came to the tomb touched and kissed his leg begging for opening the gates for those people who had died during the pilgrimage.

Nowadays, the statue of Saint Peter is dressed in festive clothing during holidays. It does really resemble an alive priest. You can also ask the apostle for something, rubbing his leg during your visit to this marvelous attraction in Italy.

Photos St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica on the map

St. Peter's Basilica - attractions nearby

Entrance tickets & Tours

image
2 hours 30 minutes
Vatican City Small-Group Tour with Museums and Sistine Chapel
3 reviews
Immerse yourself in one of the most famous areas in the world during this comprehensive 2.5-hour tour of the Vatican. Explore the various museums including the Raphael Rooms, the Belvedere Courtyard with ‘Apollo Belvedere’ and ‘Laocoön and Sons’, and more. Then head to the Sistine Chapel just before closing time to admire the iconic frescoes when it is less crowded. Your tour will end at St. Peter’s Basilica. A guide will provide eye-opening insight and context for the many historical and cultural points along the tour.
from 62
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
from 62
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
View more
image
2 hours 30 minutes
Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
2 reviews
As the spiritual home to over 1.6 billion Catholic’s worldwide, the Vatican City can be something of a nightmare get into - with queues lasting for hours on end. But our Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St Peter’s Basilica tour utilises premium skip-the-line tickets - allowing us to breeze past the crowds and dig right in. Those visiting the Vatican unguided often find themselves dazzled by the plethora of works on display here - which can make it somewhat difficult to navigate. But our guides have curated a bespoke route through the Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica that packs in all the best bits - without leaving you lost for hours in its maze-like corridors.
from 71
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
from 71
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
View more
image
3 hours 30 minutes
Skip-the-Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Raphael & St. Peter’s Basilica
2 reviews
The Vatican has stood as the center of the Catholic Church since the early decades of Christianity when it was a place of martyrdom and the place where St Peter is believed to have been crucified upside down. So much history sits inside the Vatican museum complex that no time should be spent waiting outside.As the most visited place in Rome, the Vatican serves 4.2 million people a year. The lines, as you can imagine, can be long, sometimes hours long, and exhausting for anyone who has to wait in them. Keep your energy for the good parts, the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica. With a Vatican Skip-The-Lines Tour, you get to go in a small group through a special museum entrance. Once inside your guide will take you a journey of the best known and some of the obscure parts of a place that contains some of the world’s most important historical treasures.This is the perfect small group tour for those who want to see the major highlights of the Vatican City.
from 83
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
from 83
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
View more
image
2 hours
Express Vatican Highlights
1 review
Visit all the highlights of the Vatican Museums and have the evening free to experience the rest of Rome! In this, our best-selling, Vatican tour, immerse yourself in the history of the Church. Our Vatican Highlights tours runs every day bar Sunday and public holidays.While in Rome, experience the Vatican City with an expert, local guide! 
from 91
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
from 91
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
View more

Hotels near St. Peter's Basilica

Latest articles

All
The airport
News
19.05.2022
Europe cancels masked flights
Old houses on the streets of Riga
Adventure
18.05.2022
Things to do in Riga — the best places to explore the city
People on the beach at the bar
News
18.05.2022
Indonesia cancels PCR tests for vaccinated tourists
Pyramid of Kukulkan in the ancient Mexican city of Chichen Itza
Adventure
18.05.2022
Things to do in Cancun during a Caribbean vacation
Sunset over rice fields in Bali
Reviews
17.05.2022
Trip to the heart of Bali — What to do in Ubud
Sky Bridge 721
News
17.05.2022
The longest suspension bridge in the world opened in the Czech Republic