The facade of St. Peter's Basilica as viewed from next to one of the two matching Bernini fountains that grace St. Peter's Square (Piazza) in front of the church. The attic or upper story displays statues of Christ, his apostles, and St. John the Baptist. Constructed over a period of 80 years and consecrated in 1626, the basilica is the largest Christian church in the world - capable of holding some 60,000 people.
Looking past the obelisk that stands at the center of St. Peter's Square in the Vatican out to the city of Rome.
View of Saint Peter's Square in Rome showing an Egyptian obelisk, the Via della Conciliazione, and colonnades with statues on the sides of the square. The square, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, was constructed between 1658 and 1667.
An Egyptian obelisk in Saint Peter's Square in Rome. Composed of red granite, the obelisk is 25.5 m tall (41 m to top of cross). It was transferred to Rome by the Emperor Caligula in A.D. 37, and moved to its current location at the direction of Pope Sixtus V in 1586. It is the only Egyptian obelisk in Rome never to have fallen.
The statue of St. Peter in front of the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican City.
A statue of Christ and some of his apostles on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica.
Behind the statues surmounting the facade of St. Peter's Basilica.
Looking down from the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. St. Peter's Square is in the upper left; the modern Audience Hall in the upper right.
View of St. Peter's Square in the Vatican as seen from the top of St. Peter's Basilica.
The dome over the main altar in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome was designed by Michelangelo in 1547; it was completed in 1590 after his death. The dome is 136.57 m (448.1 ft) high making it the tallest dome in the world.
The interior dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
The baldachin is a massive pavilion-like structure (30 m; 98 ft tall) that stands beneath the dome of St. Peter's Basilica and over the high altar. It is reputed to be the largest piece of bronze in the world.
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