St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s BasilicaSt Peter’s Basilica is a church in Vatican City, which itself is located within Rome, so you can combine the visit to this landmark perfectly with a visit to the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and even the Leaning Tower of Pisa. St Peter’s Basilica holds the most people of any church in the world; it has a capacity of 60.000. Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the first pope of the Catholic Church, was buried at the site of the church. Since then, many popes have been buried at the site. All in all, the church contains over 100 tombs of important personalities.

Today, St Peter’s Basilica is still the main church of the Pope and the one where he holds most of his ceremonies. The monument is of gigantic significance to the Catholic Church, so it will be an even more interesting visit to Christian Catholics. But more than that, it is part of European cultural heritage, since all of Europe has been widely influenced by Christianity and Christianity has its origins in the city of Rome. The church is built in the Renaissance style and is regarded as one of the greatest architectural works of its time.

The shape of the church is a gigantic crucifix. The interior is decorated in the grandest way possible with marble, reliefs and sculptures, most of which are great works of art by artists as renowned as Michelangelo. Even if you are not a believer, the sheer grandeur and dimensions of the church are bound to blow you away. The lettering on the inside of the dome alone, which spells out a bible verse, is two meters high, and the proportions of the church are gigantic. The church was embellished by many popes after the construction was first started in the third century AD.

As you can see, the architecture alone is fascinating enough to warrant a visit, even if you are not particularly interested in religion. You do need to remember, however, that there is a dress code inside Vatican City and that you will not be allowed inside unless you follow certain rules. You cannot wear shorts, skirts above the knee, or wear something that does not cover your shoulders. This is a basic sign of respect and respecting foreign cultures is crucial when travelling anywhere, so make sure you follow the rules. There is also no smoking anywhere in Vatican City.