TheBasilica of St Peter
St. Peter’s Basilica is a Late Renaissance church located within the territory of the Vatican City. It was designed by great architects like Michelangelo, Donato Bramante, Gian Bernini Lorenzo and Carlo Maderno. The St. Peter’s Basilica is among the world’s largest churches and it is well known as an exemplary piece of Renaissance architecture. In the Catholic faith, St. Peter’s Basilica is considered to be amongst the holiest places in the world.The St. Peter Basilica is rich in history from early Christian times. This site is believed to be the house of the tomb of Saint Peter; who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Some historical evidence has proved that the tomb of Saint Peter is located directly below the altar of the basilica.
The iconic central dome of St. Peter’s Basilica dominates the skyline of Rome. It is located in Rome, west of the River Tiber and near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian’s Mausoleum.The interior of the basilica contains several sculptures, artworks, decorationsand paintings. It contains several tombs of popes and other notable people. One of the most famous sculptures in St. Peter’s Basilica is Michelangelo’s Pieta.
The basilica is spectacular and steeped in history, religion, architecture and art. Several philosophers have described the basilica in different ways among them the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson who described it as “an ornament of the earth…the sublime of the beauty.” The St. Peter’s Basilica is near the Papal residence and it is located within the Vatican City. Most of the Papal ceremonies take place at the St peter's and thus it is very popular. However, it is not the Pope’s official seat nor first in rank among the Major Basilicas of Rome. The other Papal Basilicas or Major Basilicas of Rome are the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul outside the Walls.
The basilica has great architectural structures that tooks everal years to design and build. One of the major contributors to the amazing structure of St. Peter’s Basilica is the Master Michelangelo. The following are some ofthe spectacular architectural features of the basilica: the Bramante’s dome, Maderno’s façade, St Peter’s statues, narthex and portals, and Maderno’ nave. St. Peter also has a lovely Piazza, fountains, altars, towers. It also known for the statues in the piers of the dome ( among them are the statues of Saint Helena, St.Longinus, St. Andrew and St. Veronica).
The specifications of the St. Peter’s basilica are approximately: length: 730 feet (220 m); width: 500 feet (150 m); maximum height: 452 feet (138 m); outer dome diameter: 137.7 feet (42 m); inner dome diameter: 136.1 feet (41.5 m). These dimensions are indeed an indication of how huge the basilica is. With its spectacular furnishes, architecture, tombs and collections of art, St. Peter’s Basilica is and will always be one of the largest churches in the world and oneof the holiest Catholic sites.