St Peter’s Basilica is the largest of the four papal basilicas, the others being St John Lateran, St Paul’s outside the Walls and St Mary Major. Before Pope Benedict XVI relinquished the title of Patriarch of the West, they were called patriarchal Basilicas. They are the 4 largest basilicas in Rome, and have the highest liturgical rank.
According to tradition, St Peter’s Basilica was erected above the tomb of the Apostle St Peter, where his remains are kept. It is one of the most sacred places of Catholicism, and a jewel of artistic creativity of masters such as Michelangelo, who worked uninterruptedly on the basilica and the dome from the 16th century, and Bernini, who created the colonnade of the beautiful square in front of the basilica.
Entry to St Peter’s Basilica is free of charge. As it is a sacred place clothing worn must be decorous.
It can be visited every day from 7:00 to 18:30 (19:00 in the summer season)
Mass times during week: 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 17:00
Mass times Sunday and holidays: 9:00, 10:30, 11:30, 12:15, 13:00, 16:00, 17:30.
General Information: Sacristy +39 06 69883712
See also: St Peter’s Dome
The other Basilicas
- Papal Archbasilica of St John Lateran
- Papal Archbasilica of St Paul’s outside the Walls
- Papal Archbasilica of St Mary Major
To find out more
St Peter’s Basilica