St. Peter's Square - Piazza San Pietro

St. Peter's square View over the Piazza San Pietro

Piazza San Pietro - St Peter's Square

Rome's most famous square with a spectacular backdrop

St. Peter's Square in front of the stunning backdrop of St. Peter's Basilica is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Bernini created the split Piazza in 1667 and gave the believers a sufficient space for meetings and prayers. Directly in front of the steps of St. Peter's Basilica, which are flanked by the statues of the Apostles Peter and Paul, extends a trapezoidal lower square, which flows into the 340 metres long and 240 metres wide, elliptical square. The main square is surrounded by two semicircular, quadruple colonnades with 284 columns and 88 pillars. From the balustrade 140 saints overlook the square. Left and right on the square, Bernini built two 14-metre-high fountains, splashing water fountains in their two huge granite bowls. In the paving on the left and on the right side, in the foci of the ellipse, there are two points marked. From here, the four pillars of the colonnade appear as a single one.

The obelisk in St. Peter's Square

In the middle of St. Peter's Square, a 25.5 metre high Egyptian obelisk towers above the square. The Emperor Caligula brought it to Rome in A.D. 37 and placed it in the Circus of Nero. As the only obelisk of Rome, it remained there throughout the Middle Ages until Pope Sixtus V placed it in the Piazza San Pietro in 1586. The transport of the 322-tonne stone incidentally took 4 months and required140 horses, 900 workers and 44 winches. According to legend, the ropes were about to tear and could only be held together thanks to a worker who ignored the strict order of silence from the Pope and called out to have some water put on the ropes. As a token of gratitude, the family of the worker was allowed to provide the palm branches for the Palm Sunday ceremony, which their descendants continue to do today.

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