Skip to content

The Square of Saint Peter

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/9/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Vatican's grand plaza

Saint Peter's Square is a massive plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome.

Saint Peter's Square was designed more than 400 years ago, and includes a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian Obelisk.

Saint Peter's Square was designed more than 400 years ago, and includes a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian Obelisk.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/9/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Travel

Keywords: Europe, Italy, Rome


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The open space which lies before the basilica was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII, as an appropriate forecourt, designed "so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the fa├žade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace."

Join the Pope's war on hunger.

At the center of the plaza stands a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian obelisk of red granite, 25.5 meters tall, which was placed in the square in 1568. It was originally erected at Heliopolis by an unknown pharaoh of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt. The Emperor Augustus had it moved to the Julian Forum of Alexandria, where it stood until year 37 A.D., when Caligula ordered the forum demolished and the obelisk transferred to Rome. He placed it in the center of the Circus, where it would preside over Nero's countless brutal games and Christian executions.

Saint Peter

Saint Peter's Square was designed more than 400 years ago, and includes a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian Obelisk.


The obelisk was moved to its current site in 1586 by the engineer-architect Domenico Fontana under the direction of Pope Sixtus V; the engineering feat of re-erecting its vast weight was memorialized in a suite of engravings. The Vatican Obelisk is the only obelisk in Rome that has not toppled since ancient Roman times. During the Middl- Ages, the gilt ball on top of the obelisk was believed to contain the ashes of Julius Caesar. Fontana later removed the ancient metal ball, now in a Rome museum, that stood atop the obelisk and found only dust. Though Bernini had no influence in the erection of the obelisk, he did use it as the centerpiece of his magnificent piazza.

Saint Peter

Saint Peter's Square was designed more than 400 years ago, and includes a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian Obelisk.


In 1817 circular stones were set to mark the tip of the obelisk's shadow at noon as the sun entered each of the signs of the zodiac, making the obelisk a gigantic sundial's gnomon.

Saint Peter

Saint Peter's Square was designed more than 400 years ago, and includes a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian Obelisk.


St. Peter's Square today can be reached from the Ponte Sant'Angelo along the grand approach of the Via della Conciliazione (in honor of the Lateran Treaty of 1929). The spina which once occupied this grand avenue leading to the square was demolished ceremonially by Benito Mussolini himself on October 23, 1936 and was completely demolished by October 8, 1937. St. Peter's Basilica was now freely visible from the Castel Sant Angelo. The effect of its demolition, however, was to destroy the characteristic Baroque "surprise". The Via della Conciliazione was completed in time for the Great Jubilee of 1950.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.