Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome

Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano or Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Italian, is a Church located in Vatican City that dates back to the Renaissance age.  Michelangelo, Bernini and Bramante were the main architects of the magnificent basilica and it is one of the most famous architectural works of the Renaissance era. The building of the current church (replaced the old 4th century Church over St. Peter's tomb)  began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.

According to Roman Catholic tradition St. Peter's Basilica is the burial site of  Saint Peter, one Christs' 12 apostles. Additionally  in Roman Catholic tradition, St. Peter was also  the first Bishop of Rome and thus was the first in the papal (pope) lineage.

Saint Peter's Basilica is located within the Vatican and thus it serves the Popes for ceremonies. Throughout the year a number of services are conducted by the pope and they attract audiences of 20,000 to over 90,000 people who come to the Vatican Basilica (St. Peter's) or St. Peter's Square. In addition to serving the papcy, St. Peter's is one of the four churches of Rome that hold the rank of Major Basilica. 

Saint Peter's tomb is located directly below the altar of the St. Peter's Basilica and soem hitorical evidence supports this. Many Popes have been buried at St. Peter's for this reason and this is also why there has been a church at this location in Rome since the times of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (4th century)


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