St Peter’s Square – Vatican City
What you need to know
St Peter’s Square is at the centre of Rome and stands at the foot of the basilica with the same name. The square is a sublime example of Baroque art and architecture and millions of Christian pilgrims come here every year from all over the world. St Peter’s Square and its basilica have always been regarded as the beating heart of the Christian faith and Catholic Church; emphasizing this is Bernini’s magnificent colonnade that acts like two enormous arms enveloping the believers.
The Square posed many personal and religious problems for Bernini, but the artist eventually came up with an ingenious solution. He believed St Peter’s Square should be a place for welcoming the believers who come to receive the “urbi et orbi” blessing, and so the Loggia della Benedizione had to be positioned for everyone to see. The Square is therefore also the location for religious celebrations in the warmer months and, most especially, for the Angelus Domini at midday on Sundays when the Pope stands at the window of his room and imparts his blessing to the people who congregate below to hear him speak.
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