St. Peter's Square in Vatican

St. Peter's Square in Vatican

Vatican's main square, lying in front of the basilica of St. Peter’s, called St. Peter's Square, should be on the list of must see places of any tourist who visits the Rome. It is one of the most beautiful and most famous public spaces.


Today's appearance of St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro in Italian) is the work of Gain Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini took the final completion of the basilica and the front of the basilica after the death of Carlo Maderna. He made some changes of the original proposal by Carl Maderna, he extended the St. Peter's Square and increased the distance of both wings of the Square. Thanks to these Bernini adjustments the frontage of cathedral obtained its monumentality we can admire today. Access to the Basilica was defined by the colonnade consisting of 284 Tuscan columns and 88 pillars. Columns are fifteen meters high and four are always together. The Statues of saints, seven on each side, are placed on the upper ledge of the colonnade. Pope Alexander VII. delegated Bernini to finish area in front of the basilica. The result was a masterpiece of colossal proportion causing emotions of amazement.


Bernini took as the center of St. Peter's Square an Egyptian obelisk of red granite with a cross on top. The total size of the obelisk is 41 meters, with the height of 25.5 meters above the ground. The Egyptian obelisk was originally placed in Heliopolis. The Emperor Augustus moved the obelisk to Alexandria in year 37 and later Caligula has moved the obelisk to Rome. The obelisk was placed at its present location in 1586 by Domenico Fontana, based on direct request of Pope Sixtus V.


The reconstruction of St. Peter's Square included also the location of the fountains. Bernini has moved the fountain designed by Maderna into focus of the elliptical plaza and fountain for second focus of the elliptical plaza he designed by himself. The colonnade of St. Peter's Square was completed in 1666 and final fountains appearance was finished in the year 1675, five years before Bernini's death.


The main Vatican square lying in front of the St. Peter's Basilica is nowadays one of the most visited places of the world. There are two dimensions resulting from appearance of St. Peter's Square. In addition to architectural there is also a spiritual dimension. Bernini himself compared the square to "the arms of the Church, which receives all the faithful coming to this place to strengthen their faith."

27.3.2010 | Prague guide | Cities |
St. Peter's Square in Vatican
St. Peter's Square in Vatican
St. Peter's Square in Vatican
St. Peter's Square in Vatican
St. Peter's Square in Vatican
St. Peter's Square in Vatican
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

User login