>> Tuesday, January 20, 2009
St. Peter's Basilica is the next place I visited in Rome.
The Basilica of Sain Peter is officially known here in Italy as the Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano and it is commonly known as St. Peter's Basilica (in English). The Basilica is located within the Vatican City and it occupies a "unique position" as one of the holiest sites. It is consider also as " the greatest of all churches of Christendom".
In Catholic Tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Tradition, was the first Bishop of Antioch, and later first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. While St. Peter's is the most famous of Rome's many churches, it is not the first in rank, an honor held by the Pope's cathedral church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
The Basilica of St. Peter is one of four major basilicas of Rome, the others being the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul outside the Walls. It is the most prominent building inside the Vatican City. Its dome is a dominant feature of the skyline of Rome. Probably the largest church in Christianity, it covers an area of 2.3 hectares (5.7 acres) and has a capacity of over 60,000 people.