A large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus considered by Catholics to be the first Pope.

The most impressive part of the square, besides its size, are its 284 columns with 20 meters high and 88 pilasters that flank the square in a colossal Doric colonnade of four rows. Above the columns there are 140 statues of saints, former popes and other Christian figures created in 1670 by the disciples of Bernini.

At the center of the square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square almost 100 years later, including the massive Doric colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in “the maternal arms of Mother Church” / Image source

In the center of the square the two fountains, one of Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1675 and another by Carlo Maderno in 1914 stand out. At the center stands the uninscribed Egyptian obelisk of red granite, 25.5 meter tall, supported on bronze lions and surmounted by the Chigi arms in bronze, in all 41 meters to the cross on its top. The obelisk was originally erected at Heliopolis, Egypt, by an unknown pharaoh.

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