Saint Peter’s tomb – The symbolic point of Peter’s burial in the Vatican City

One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and one of the first leaders of the early Church. Catholic tradition holds that Peter, travelled to Rome and met his martyrdom there along with Paul in 64 AD during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero. He is traditionally counted as the first bishop of Rome‍ and also by Eastern Christian tradition as the first patriarch of Antioch.

St. Peter’s baldachin, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in the St. Peter’s Basilica. Saint Peter’s tomb lies directly below this structure / Image source

According to tradition, the remains of Peter were buried on the site where the Basilica of Old St. Peter was built. The tomb is a site under St. Peter’s Basilica that includes several graves and a structure said by Vatican authorities to have been built to memorialize the location of the grave. St. Peter’s tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and AD 300. The area now covered by Vatican City was a cemetery because many Christians chose to be buried near the burial site of St. Peter.

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