The centre of Christianity in world is also the largest church of the world which stands on the Vatican hill near to the city of Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica is ideally a renaissance church which took hundred years to get completed and also involved some phenomenal architects of renaissance origin. St. Peter’s Basilica Church which stands next to the Tiber River is considered one of the most sacred sites in the Christian religion as it is here that the main apostle Saint Peter breathed his last.
It is from the St. Peter’s Basilica that the pope administrates the rest of the Roman Catholic fraternity of the world. The earliest date of construction of the church goes back to 319 AD when the ruler of Rome was Emperor Constantine who was incidentally also a Christian. While at that time the idea was only to build a small shrine, renovations and restorations were further made when St. Peter’s Basilica was ruining out during the time of Nicolas V. As at that time the work again came to a halt following the death of Nicolas V, it got restarted under Julius II who proposed the creation of an entirely new structure under the architectural guidance of Donato Bramante.
The structure suggested by Bramante had much of a Greek influence with a hug dome at the top. The dome was built at a height of 136 metres from the ground and had a diameter of 42 metres. Ever since then, one architect was succeeded by another with all of them making some or the other significant impact to the plan. Amongst all of them the influence which seems to be most striking is known to have come from Michelangelo and also to a part from Rafael.
The final consecration of St. Peter’s Basilica happened in 1626 post which it has been a major religious site for people across the world. Currently standing over an area of 22000 sq metres, figures that it has the capacity for twenty thousand worshipers to pray in the church. This remarkable work of art is therefore known to be visited by nearly 15,000 to 80,000 people throughout the year who go to attend the various services conducted by the Pope. In the current times, it is known that the actual tomb of St. Peter lies just below the main altar of the church.
While accessing the main St. Peter’s Basilica, the visitors have to pass through the huge open space which is known as St. Peter’s Square. It is elliptical in shape and is known to have 140 statues which were the creations of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. There is also a fountain in the square which is known to have come to Rome in 37 AD. The structure of the actual building of St. Peter’s Basilica has a front facade, five entrances and interior which is richly adorned with artistic attributes of the 16th and 17th century artists.
St. Peter’s Basilica is open for tourists during particular times of the day and has strict dress codes which need to be followed.