St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican

Catholic Cathedral of St. Peter in the Vatican(Basilica di San Pietro) is the largest building in the territory of a tiny state, and throughout Italy, as well as the treasury of the best Italian masters, because such great masters as Rafael, Bramante, Michelangelo, Bernini worked on the construction and painting of the cathedral. The cathedral is built on the Vatican Hill, where in ancient times vineyards were grown and clay was mined.

Why Peter?

The cathedral of St. Peter is named so not for nothing: it is believed that the very first altar was erected over the grave of the apostle Peter. The altar has its own peculiarity - it is not turned to the east, as is customary in the construction of Christian churches, but to the west. Now under the altar, in the crypt, is the grave of Pope Jonah Paul II.

Centuries-old history of construction

The modern view of the basilica was not designedimmediately. Initially, only one small cathedral was built, and another was added to it several centuries later. But then it was decided to build on this site a cathedral that would eclipse both pagan churches and Christian churches, developing and thereby strengthening the papal state, and also spreading the influence of Catholicism. But the architects succeeding each other, made their changes in the concept of the cathedral, preferring Greek or Latin symbols. As a result, St. Peter's Cathedral was completed, modified and now its total length is 211.6 meters, it covers an area of ​​about 22100 square meters and it accommodates more than 50,000 people. It houses eleven chapels and forty-five altars. This is a huge cathedral, inside of which could be placed the largest cathedrals and basilicas of Europe, for this comparison on the floor of the cathedral there are special markers showing the size of a certain cathedral. More than this basilica is only the cathedral in Côte d'Ivoire, which was already built on the final design of St. Peter's Cathedral.

Treasury of art

The Cathedral of St. Peter is rich in worksart: numerous mosaics and stained glass windows, painting and painting, modeling, precious relics of Christianity. Before the entrance to the cathedral are the figures of the apostles Peter and Paul, and in the upper part of the doors - the great figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary sitting on the throne.

At the entrance to the cathedral, the view immediately falls on hisa huge dome, whose diameter is 42 meters, and height - 120 meters. In Italy it is customary to call it "cupollone" - "cupola". From the inside, it is decorated with a mosaic with inscriptions in Latin and ancient Greek, and in its niches are statues of St. Matthew with the angel, Mark with the lion, Luke with the ox and John with the eagle, created for biblical reasons, which the entire Vatican honors. The cathedral of St. Peter strikes and its numerous sculptures. The most important statue is the statue of St. Peter, dating from the 13th century. It is attributed to miraculous properties, so all visitors are put their lips to the feet of the apostle, who are already pale from frequent touches. In the cathedral are numerous chapels with the graves of kings, emperors and Roman popes. Here is the famous marble "Pieta" by Michelangelo.

St. Peter's Cathedral preserved the oldest redikivi: the spear of the centurion Longinus, who was pierced by Christ on the cross, and the wooden crucifix attributed to the painter Pietro Cavallini about the 13th - 14th centuries.

Also in the cathedral you can climb to the observation deck, located on the top of the dome, on foot or by lift. The sightseeing tour will take about an hour.

Square near the Cathedral

In the area of ​​di San Pietro, which is considereda great work of town planning because of the convenience of its location, there is an obelisk from Heliopolis, established in honor of the fact that once on this site grew the gardens of the circus of Nero, where the martyrs died first Christians, and then was crucified by the apostle Peter. Around the obelisk "circumscribed" circle - a kind of Coliseum, where there are always many people walking.