Banner-San-Pietro-in-Vaticano.jpg Banner-San-Pietro-in-Vaticano.jpg

St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican

According to tradition the tomb in which the Apostle Peter was buried after his crucifixion was situated here, on the highest point of the Vatican Hill, and so it was on this spot, in the 4th century, that Emperor Constantine decided to build the basilica, the first to be dedicated to the Saint.

During the High Middle Ages, this place of worship became the main pilgrimage destination of the Western world. In 1506, Pope Julius II decided to demolish the original structure to replace it with a larger and grander worship space.

Some of the greatest artists in history were involved in the construction and decoration of this hugely impressive basilica: Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo among others. In 1629 Bernini finished the internal decoration of the whole church, creating its present look.