Ceiling detail inside St Peter's church in the Vatican
St Peter’s Basilica in Rome is one of the world’s holiest catholic shrines, visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every month. Built upon the tomb of St Peter, this splendid church is a magnificent must-see for visitors to Rome.
The history behind the creation of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome is almost as amazing as the building itself. After the first Basilica was knocked down, it took over 100 years to rebuild, and some of the most famous architects of the time contributed to its design. If you are planning a visit to Rome, then you can’t miss St Peter’s Basilica. Situated in the Vatican City, you can visit the Basilica and also the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.
Situated on Vatican Hill in the UNESCO world heritage site of Vatican City, St Peter’s Basilica dominates the skyline of Rome and attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. It has a capacity of over 60,000 people, covers 22,300 square meters and is one of the world’s largest churches. You can climb the 491 stairs to the top of Michelangelo’s dome. A church only becomes a basilica when the pope designates it, usually because of historical significance or if it houses sacred relics. Globally, there are over 1,400 minor basilicas; however, St Peter’s Basilica is one of only four Major Basilicas in the world. The three other major basilicas are also situated in Rome: St John Lateran, St Paul’s outside the Walls and St Mary Major. St Peter’s Basilica achieved its basilica status due to being built on the site where St Peter was buried in 64 AD.