All Roads Lead to Rome
Updated: Sep 9, 2018
St. Peter’s Basilica, the architectural masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, is the grand champion of all of the world’s churches in terms of size and splendor.
It is believed that over the last two thousand years, more pilgrims have visited Rome than any other city, including Jerusalem.
Built on the site where St. Peter was martyred, St. Peter’s Basilica is perhaps the grandest church in the world.
This shrine of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, continues to draw millions of pilgrims to Rome every year, and may be the world’s most visited holy site. It is one of the seven ancient pilgrimage churches of Rome, one of five Patriarchal Basilicas (representing Constantinople) and one of only four cathedrals in the world to bear the distinction of being a Basilica Major. St. Peter’s Basilica is part of the Vatican City UNESCO World Heritage Site.
An Italian Masterpiece
In front of the Basilica is the immense St. Peter’s Plaza, circumscribed by a massive colonnade and crowned with the statues of a hundred and forty saints. The obelisk at the center of the plaza was brought back from Egypt by the Romans. Several giant bronze portals offer entrance to the Basilica. The Holy Door in the center is only opened on special occasions. The interior is an unparalleled work of art with soaring columns and gilt ceilings. St. Peter is buried along with ninety-one Popes and a handful of other prominent figures of the Church in the Vatican grotto.