The grandeur of the seventeenth-century facade by Carlo Maderno makes the idea of colossal dimensions of the Basilica of St. Peter, still one of the largest churches in the world.
The original St. Peter's Basilica, a building of comparable size to the current, it was built around 320 by the Emperor Constantine in the place where, according to tradition, the apostle Peter was buried.
Over the centuries and under several pontificates began the long process that, in about two hundred years and with the participation of many artists (Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini), would lead to the complete renovation of the original Constantinian basilica.
The dome designed by Michelangelo in surprising size and harmony, features that can be appreciated in the hard but rewarding climb that allows you to admire from close to both the interior and exterior.
Among the many masterpieces,
do not miss Michelangelo's Pieta, the work that amazes for centuries for technique and emotion.
A splendid colonnade of 284 columns of the Doric order and eighty-eight pillars Tivoli travertine surrounds St. Peter's Basilica, as if it was a welcome in a symbolic hug the faithful.
The splendid architecture of the colonnade was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII Chigi to Bernini, who disposed radially four rows of 284 columns, of which the diameter gradually increased, allowing them to maintain unchanged the proportional relationships between the spaces in the rows and columns also external.
Thanks to this arrangement, the viewer reaching the disks of porphyry to the sides of the obelisk sees the colonnade as composed of a single row of columns .