Basilica of Saint Peter and Tombs of the Popes
Saint Peter's Basilica with its imposing cupola that rises above the roofs of Rome, is the heart of christianity
Built on the humble tomb of the fisherman of Galilee, the Basilica was erected at the behest of Emperor Constantine around 320 AD. It was built on Vatican hill, atop a necropolis where the tomb of the Apostle Peter was venerated, not far from Nero's circus where the apostle was martyred. Today's Basilica is an expression of Renaissance art and architecture, thanks to the Popes who commissioned the work of great artists such as Bramante, Michelangelo, Bernini and Maderno.
Admire the sheer grandeur and magnificence of this Basilica, which is the largest Catholic church in the world. In the center aisle you can see the meter markings of some of the larger Cathedrals from around the world, but Saint Peter's remains the largest of them all. As you wind through the naves and the chapels you will follow along a path of art, faith and spirituality. Nearby the Holy Door, stop in silence and contemplate the scene of Our Lady holding her son Jesus in her arms after his crucifixion, sculpted into marble with such realism and naturalness by the master hand of Michelangelo in the "Pietà" sculpture. Pray in front of the mortal remains of Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Saint John XXIII, before you continue down to the Vatican Grottoes where Pope Saint Paul VI and so many other pontiffs from throughout history are buried nearby the tomb of the Apostle Peter.
Palazzo del Vicariato Vecchio
Via della Pigna, 13/a - 00186 Rome ITALY
Monday to Friday
9 AM to 1 PM and 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM (Rome time)
Office at St. John Lateran
Palazzo Lateranense - Diocesan Offices
Piazza di Porta S. Giovanni, 6 - 00184 Rome ITALY
Monday to Friday
9 AM to 1 PM
Office at St. Peter's
Piazza Pio XII, 9 (Saint Peter Square) - 00193 Rome ITALY
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Rome time)