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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Overview

Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome (these equivalent titles being held by the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome).

Saint Peter's Square

circa 950 BCE

Vatican Obelisk
Today known as the Vatican Obelisk, is an uninscribed ancient Egyptian obelisk carved out of red granite. It stands in the middle of the Saint Peter's Square, originally from Heliopolis. Brought to Rome by Augustus in 10 BCE with the Solare obelisk and erected on the spina of the Circus Maximus. Found with the Lateranense obelisk in 1587 CE in two pieces and re-erected by Pope Sixtus V in 1589. Sculptures with lion fountains were added to the base in 1818.

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