St. Peter's Square
Piazza San Pietro, or St. Peter's Square, is a square fronting St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. It is known as one of the most famous piazzas in the world. Its present design, created by the sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, is uniquely shaped. Its entrance is a trapezoid, while the center is an ellipse. The ellipse, which measures 240 meters in diameter, is surrounded by a magnificent Doric colonnade composed of four rows of 284 columns, 88 pillars and 140 statues of Catholic saints.
In the center of the ellipse is the Vatican Obelisk, a 25.5-meter Egyptian obelisk made of red granite. Its original location was in Heliopolis in Egypt and then the Julian Forum in Alexandria. It was engineer and architect Domenico Fontana who moved it to the piazza in 1586. To its side are two fountains, the first one designed by Carlo Maderno and the second by Carlo Fontana.
In 1936, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini commissioned architects Marcello Piacentini and Attilio Spaccarelli to construct a road that would serve as an entrance to the piazza. Construction of this road, the Via della Conciliazione, took 12 months and was quite controversial because of the residents it displaced. Piazza San Pietro can be reached by the Rome Metro (Linea A). It can also be reached on foot by crossing the Tiber and then walking up the Via della Conciliazione, or by going under the Pasetto arch and up Pio Borgo.
Address St. Peter's Square, Vatican City
Public transportation Metro Line A - Station Ottaviano, buses