VATICAN’S ST. PETER’S SQUARE AND BASILICA

Updated on April 5, 2019

ESPAÑOL

ST. PETER’S SQUARE

The square where the basilica is located. Large and oval, is surrounded by two passages of doric-style colonnades. It was designed by Bernini and built between 1656 and 1667. There are two fountains, one in each focus of the ellipse, and an Egyptian obelisk 25 meters high (41 including pedestal) in the center.

ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 0
St Peter’s Basilica viewed from the Square
ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 1 plaza square
And the Square, with its obelisk and colonnades, viewed from the Basilica

You can see the soldiers of Vatican’s army, the Swiss Guard. They are only 100, making it the world’s smallest army.

ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 2 Swiss guard, Vatican city. Guardia suiza, ciudad del Vaticano
Swiss Guard Soldier. I would say he doesn’t much like the uniform

ST. PETER’S BASILICA

The largest basilica in Italy and one of the largest in the world, or the largest, depending on the sources you check. Open daily from 7 to 19:00, free admission. The highlights of the interior are:

  • Michelangelo’s Pietà, one of his masterpieces. It is near the entrance on the right hand side.
ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 3 LA PIEDAD DE MIGUEL ANGEL, VATICANO Michelangelo's Pieta
Michelangelo’s Pietà
  • In the center, Bernini’s baldachin, from where the Pope usually officiate religious ceremonies.
  • Above this, Michelangelo’s dome. You can go up and look closely the inside and admire the view of Rome from the outside. There are 551 steps, or 320 for those using the elevator.
ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 5 Baldaquino Bernini interior
Interior of St. Peter’s Basilica with the baldachin on the left of the picture
  • Vatican Grottoes. Here are buried almost all the Popes, it is believed that even St. Peter, but not all archaeologists agree with the authenticity of the remains. The tomb of John Paul II is easily recognized because it is the most visited.
ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 6 Tumba de Juan Pablo II, San Pedro del Vaticano. Tomb Goivanni Paolo, St Peter's Basilica
John Paul II tomb in the grottoes
  • And yes, for those who want to see him, if the Pope is here, you can easily see him. Personally I have gone twice and have seen two Popes. He will be in a balcony overlooking the square before Sunday’s morning Mass, but it is so far that certainly, you cannot distinguish who is actually there. He can also be seen celebrating the Mass, although it is crowded with devotees and tourists alike.
ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 7 Papa Pope Benedicto XVI VENTANA, WINDOW
Pope Benedict XVI in the window overlooking the square
ST PETER'S BASILICA, VATICAN CITY. SAN PEDRO DEL VATICANO 8 Papa Pope Benedicto XVI
Fine, on the other picture you could not really say it was him
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7 thoughts on “VATICAN’S ST. PETER’S SQUARE AND BASILICA

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