Piazza in front of the Basilica - seven.worldmy.info

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Piazza in front of the Basilica

The Saint Peters Basilica
Piazza in front of the Basilica

In total, Saint Peter’s Basilica covers more than 5 acres (2 hectares). The interior floor of the basilica covers 3.7 acres (1.5 hectares).

After construction of the basilica was complete, Bernini began plans to build a piazza in front. He designed two curving colonnades-covered passageways lined with columns. The colonnades formed an oval. One end was left open as an entrance. Work on the piazza began in August 1657 and was done in 1667. The piazza measures 1,115 feet (340 m) long by 650 feet (198 m) wide. The colonnades contain three hundred columns. Along the top of the colonnades are 164 statues of saints and popes. Each statue is about 12 feet (4 m) tall and took two months to carve.

In Italian the piazza is called the Piazza San Pietro. In English it is known as Saint Peter’s Square. In modern Rome, a street called the Via della Conciliazione leads to the square. More than four million tourists each year cross Saint Peter’s Square to see the basilica. The church is open every day. Visitors can even climb the 320 steps of the dome to reach the very peak of this architectural wonder.

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