Basilica Sancti Petri: The Transformation of Saint Peter’s Basilica

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Have you ever wondered why so many Christian cathedrals and churches share a similar architecture? Come find out in our newest display, Basilica Sancti Petri: The Transformation of Saint Peter’s Basilica, an exhibit that explores how the architecture of the world’s most famous church has changed over the centuries, from its roots in the secular Roman basilica, to the Latin cross-shaped grand cathedral it is today. 

The exhibition was inspired by Basilica Sancti Petri, a publication from 2014 by the Vatican Library, which chronicles the history of the construction of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. With this as a base, additional prints were added to illustrate the transformation of this iconic church. See the work of famous architects and engravers — such as Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Carlo Fontana, Agostino Veneziano, Antoine Lafréry, and others — in the prints on display, which offer a glimpse into the past, into architectural projects never carried out, and into the final structure chosen for Saint Peter’s Basilica. 

Come explore this unique exhibit from May 27 through September 25 in Museum of the Bible’s long-term exhibit from the Vatican, Treasures from the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library. You may also purchase your copy of the book that inspired the display, Basilica Sancti Petri by Barbara Jatta, from the Vatican Library at Search for “Basilica Sancti Petri” to find the book. 

This exhibit is part of your general admission ticket.