St. Peter's Square Colonnades

St. Peter's Square Colonnades

Encompassing Saint Peter’s Square are two colonnades which were designed by Bernini to symbolize the embracing maternal arms of the Catholic Church. The colonnades are comprised of four rows of columns, each column with 1.5 meters in diameter and 20 meters high.

Adorning the rooftop of the colonnades are 140 statues of various saints consisting of former popes, martyrs, evangelists and other Christian figures. The statues were created by Bernini and his students over a span of some 40 years. 

On the ground, between the obelisk and each fountain, are marble discs marking the geometric “foci” of the elliptical shaped square of St. Peter’s. When standing on these discs, the columns of the colonnades appear perfectly aligned so that only the closest row of columns can be seen – indicating once again the architectural brilliance of Bernini.  

 

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