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In the mid-15th century it was decided that the old basilica should be rebuilt.
Pope Nicholas V asked architect Bernardo Rossellino to start adding to the old church.
) is a major basilica in Vatican City, an enclave of Rome. Peter's was until recently the largest church ever built and it remains one of the holiest sites in Christendom. Peter's is not a cathedral - that honor in Rome goes to St. His simple grave was remembered and visited by the faithful, and in 324, Emperor Constantine began construction on a great basilica over the tomb. Peter is still the central focus of the church today.
Peter's Basilica stands on the traditional site where Peter - the apostle who is considered the first pope - was crucified and buried. Peter's tomb is under the main altar and many other popes are buried in the basilica as well. Peter's Basilica was rebuilt in the 16th century by Renaissance masters including Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini. Peter's Basilica hosted the Circus of Nero and a cemetery. Peter was martyred in the Circus and buried nearby.
On top of the colonnade are 140 statues of saints, crafted by a number of sculptors between 16. Paul was sculpted in 1838 by Adamo Tadolini, and is also 5.55m in height, on a pedestal 4.91m high. Peter's Basilica was designed by Michelangelo, who became chief architect in 1546.
In the early 18th century cracks appeared in the dome, so four iron chains were installed between the two shells to bind it.There are two beautiful fountains in the square, the south/left one by Carlo Maderno (1613) and the northern/right one by Bernini (1675).In the center of the square is a 25.5-meter-tall obelisk, which dates from 13th-century-BC Egypt and was brought to Rome in the 1st century to stand in Nero's Circus some 275 yards away.And every bit of space is used to display the finest Renaissance monuments and decoration money could buy, employing the talents of such greats as Michelangelo and Bernini.The following "tour" follows the rough plan of looking at the nave, walking up the right aisle, looking at the central dome and baldacchino, walking to the end for the cathedra of Peter, then heading back down the left aisle.