Papal Basilica of Saint Peter

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The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican (Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply Saint Peter's Basilica (Basilica Sancti Petri), is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City, the papal enclave that is within the city of Rome. Saint Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".

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The first church-structure was built on the site in the fourth century CE, over the site where Saint Peter, one of Jesus' apostles, was purportedly buried. In the sixteenth century, Pope Julius II commissioned the rebuilding of the church in the Renaissance style, which was designed by several famous architects including Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo. The construction was completed in 1626 CE. The basilica has since undergone several renovations and restorations, including the addition of Bernini's famous baldachin over the high altar in the Seventeenth century CE.


circa 1600 CE

The current facade of the building was designed by Maderno. It is 114.69 meters wide and 45.55 meters tall. It is made from travertine stone and features a large Corinthian column design with a central triangular structure on top, which is topped by 13 statues: Jesus in the center, surrounded by 11 of the apostles, excluding Saint Peter whose statue is located to the left of the steps, and John the Baptist.

The inscription below the cornice on the 1 metre (3.3 ft) tall frieze reads: IN HONOREM PRINCIPIS APOST PAVLVS V BVRGHESIVS ROMANVS PONT MAX AN MDCXII PONT VII (translation;In honour of the Prince of Apostles, Paul V Borghese, a Roman, Supreme Pontiff, in the year 1612, the seventh of his pontificate).

circa 1630 CE

Baldachin of Bernini
The Baldachin, St. Peter's Baldachin (Baldacchino di San Pietro), also known as the Canopy of St. Peter's Basilica, is a magnificent sculptural masterpiece designed by the famous Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in the seventeenth century CE and was installed over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica (L'Altare di Bernini) in Vatican City, Rome. The Baldachin is made of bronze and is approximately 29 meters tall. It is supported by four massive twisted columns and features intricate detailing and decoration, including sculptures of cherubs, putti, and winged victories.

The Baldachin is a symbol of the power and majesty of the Catholic Church, and is considered one of Bernini's greatest works. It was created as a way to commemorate and honor Saint Peter, the founder of the Roman Catholic Church. The Baldachin's central location in Saint Peter's Basilica, combined with its ornate design and grand scale, makes it an important architectural and cultural feature of the Vatican.

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