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St. Peter's Basilica
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St. Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".
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LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period.
St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. Contrary to popular misconception, Saint Peter's is not a cathedral, as it is not the seat of a bishop. It is properly termed a papal basilica. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral church of Rome.
The basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church, nor the Catholic Roman Rite cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic Sites.
One observer wrote: "St Peter's Basilica is the reason why Rome is still the center of the civilized world. For religious, historical, and architectural reasons it by itself justifies a journey to Rome, and its interior offers a palimpsest of artistic styles at their best."
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