Virtually explore St. Peter's Basilica with Smarthistory as your guide
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Made for a member of the Roman elite, this early tomb features Old and New Testament scenes in a classical style.
Did Peter sit here? Dizzying but unified, light and gold glorify this sacred place.
Central to the Counter Reformation, Bernini’s double colonnades activate St. Peter’s and reach out into the city.
Can stone be that soft? Contrast defines this sculpture. Mary is sweet but strong, and Christ, real yet ideal.
The greatest minds of the High Renaissance worked on this vast church. Construction took more than a century.
Over 60 feet tall, this daunting bronze canopy is part architecture, part sculpture—and part beehive.