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The St. Peter's Basilica in Rome: A Masterpiece of Sacred Architecture

Our Tipp: Make St. Peter's Basilica a Highlight of Your Visit in Rome. St Peter's Basilica in Rome is a free highlight.

Visit St. Peter's Basilica in Rome in the Vatican City Visit St. Peter's Basilica in Rome with the Rome City Pass

Admission into St. Peter's Basilica is generally for free. This historical building is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Italian metropolis and invites masses of tourists into its rooms--without requiring an admission fee! 

Admission to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is generally free of charge. The historic building is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Italian metropolis and invites crowds of tourists to its premises every year without charging any entrance fee. 

Opening hours St. Peter's Basilica

Monday-Saturday: 7:00am-6:30pm (last admission 4:30pm)

Address of St. Peter's Basilica

Piazza San Pietro
00120 Città del Vaticano 

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Directions Sistine Chapel

Metro: Line A direction to Battistini, Ottaviano or Cipro to Ottaviano
Bus: 32, 81, 982 to Piazza del Risorgimento 

Highlights of St. Peter's Basilica

  • Space for 60,000 people
  • Heart of Vatican City
  • St. Peter's grave as well graves of 23 popes
  • The St. Peter's Basilica is free to visit 

Tipp: The Pope`s audience usually takes place on Wednesdays at 10 am on St. Peter's Square (on warm or sunny days) or in the audience hall, Paolo VI. (on rainy or cold days). Participation in the papal audience is not covered by the Rome City Pass. You can pre-book your assistance free of charge by fax, by mail or by telephone. Please find more information as well as the form on www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/en/biglietti_en.html.
If you would like to get tickets spontaneously without prior registration, you may pick up tickets for free at the colonnades at the Swiss Gardens in St. Peter’s Basilica (directly behind security) one day before the audience with the Pope takes place. 

For those who can't be a part of the papal audience on a Wednesday due to time restrictions, you can also see the Pope live every Sunday at 12 pm on St. Peter's Square, where he leads his audience with the Angelus prayer and gives his blessings.

Description of the St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica is considered to be one of the largest buildings in the world with an area of over 15,000 sq. meters. The exhibitions of popes are held in the St. Peter's Basilica, but the actual seat of the Pope is actually in the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran. The inner capacity of St. Peter’s Basilica can accommodate up to 60,000 people. 

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica can be reached in about 537 steps and is the largest self-supporting building made from brick in the world. The internal diameter of the dome is 42,34 meters and is carried by 4 pentagonal pillars. From the dome, you can enjoy a beautiful view of Rome and of the Vatican. Warning: admission into the dome requires a fee that is not included in the Rome City Pass. The statue of St. Peter, whose feet was (traditionally) kissed by pilgrims, can be found in the north west side of St. Peter's Basilica. Hanging 30-meters over the main alter, you will find a canopy made out of bronze that was design by Bernini.

The grave of St. Peter is the spiritual as well as the literal center of the cathedral. Five national chapels are place around his grave. Nearby the grave of St. Peter, you will also find 23 crypts of popes (out of a total of 164 pope graves). 

This place had been called Old St. Peter by those outside of the city, where the grave of St. Peter was adored. A basilica, which does not exist today, was built in the year 326 and because of this, the cathedral is rarely called Old St. Peter anymore. The base of the crypt consists of a passage way that houses the grave. The stone foundation for the new and larger St. Peter's Basilica was laid down in 1506. From 1547 to 1564, Michelangelo took over leadership of the planning and construction of the dome. In 1626, the church grave of Pope Urban VII was established. 

You can enjoy St. Peter's Basilica in Rome without admission. 

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