When was St Peter’s Basilica Built?

St Peter’s Basilica is the world’s largest and most famous Catholic church in existence. A basilica is a very significant type of church, seen as the oldest and most significant architecture styles in ancient Rome.

The Original Basilica

The church we know today was not actually the original St. Peter’s Basilica. The original was built in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine, who was the first Christian emperor in Rome. However, the building slowly deteriorated and by the Renaissance period was a crumbling landmark.

The New Basilica

In the mid-15th century, due to decaying demeanour, the Pope commissioned a replacement on 18 April 1506. Numerous famous artists were involved in the production, including Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Maderno, and Bernini. The entire church wasn’t completed until 120 years after its start date, with all the main people who helped create it dying before it was ever finished.

Why is it named St. Peter

The basilica is named after Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles in the Bible. He originally was known as Simon and was a poor fisherman. He met Jesus near the Sea of Galilee and was the first person to recognise Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus soon changed his name to Peter, which translated to ‘rock.’ Indicating that was the rock on which Christ would build his church. Jesus appointed Peter with the task of looking at the church, making him become the very first Pope of Rome. The reason for the original basilica’s location holds a very significant reason. Rumoured the tomb of St. Peter is actually directly below the building. During the 1940s, excavations were done with a discovery of bones in 1953. The bones were said to be belonging to a man in his 60s, which was the same age Peter was documented to be before his death.

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