St. Peter’s Basilica – Rome

This week, we close our summer travels to the great cathedrals of Europe. What better place to end than in Rome, at St. Peter’s Basilica. The basilica actually isn’t a cathedral – the official seat of the Diocese of Rome is St. John Lateran Church in Rome. However, St. Peter’s is certainly a sight to see, as it is the largest church in the world, dwarfing even the great Cathedral of Cologne in Western Germany.

St. Peter’s is so large, it can accommodate 60,000 visitors and boasts many side chapels and altars where Masses are offered throughout the day by visiting priests. It is the resting place of Michelangelo’s Pieta, which is now protected by bulletproof glass. Perhaps most famously, St. Peter’s was built on the site believed to be the grave of St. Peter, the first Pope. To read an archaeologist’s conclusions to this effect, click here.

Prior to Pope Francis’ installation Mass, he visited and venerated the tomb of Peter.