St. Peter’s Square

By Om Kumar

St. Peter’s Square, also known as Piazza San Pietro, is a beautiful plaza in front of the St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Its vast size and incredible architecture makes it an amazing historical and visual delight. 

The square has a stunning display of Doric colonnades decorated with sculptures and other lovely structures. 

It is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary squares in the world, delivering a wonderful experience.

What to expect at St. Peter’s Square?

St. Peter’s Square, an ancient plaza in the center of Vatican City, is historically and religiously significant. 

It is said to have been built on the location where Peter the Apostle was executed. 

Both St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square share the name of Peter, who is known as the first Pope. 

This iconic landmark hosts a variety of religious and cultural meetings throughout the year, including the Papal Audience. 

Every year, millions of visitors arrive at St. Peter’s Square Rome to pay homage to its rich legacy, participate in activities, or simply stare at its incredible beauty. 

It is a place of deep devotion that captures the hearts and minds of everyone who visits it.

Top attractions at St. Peter’s Square

When you enter St. Peter’s Square, you will be fascinated by the stunning scenery and architectural beauty.

Here are some things to see at the square:

1. Colonnades

St. Peter’s Square has four majestic Doric colonnades that serve as an elegant gateway to the Basilica. 

The square’s main feature is its colonnades, which comprise 284 columns and 88 pillars. 

They are arranged in an oval shape to embrace visitors with the symbolic “maternal arms of the Church.” 

The majesty and beauty of the St. Peter’s Square colonnades provide an inviting atmosphere, symbolizing the Catholic Church’s inclusive and caring nature.

2. Obelisk

A magnificent Egyptian obelisk in St. Peter’s Square’s center grabs the attention of all who visit. 

Originally brought to Alexandria by Emperor Augustus, the obelisk made its way to Rome during Emperor Caligula’s reign. 

It was initially located in the Circus of Nero before being relocated to its current location in 1586 under the authority of Pope Sixtus V. 

The majestic obelisk adds to the power and significance of St. Peter’s Square by reflecting the rich history and cultural exchange between ancient civilizations and the Vatican City.

3. Paving

St. Peter’s Square’s paving has an attractive pattern of white travertine lines. 

These radial lines provide a complex geometric design that improves the square’s aesthetic appeal. 

A few circular stones at the summit of the obelisk of St. Peter’s Square function as a sundial’s gnomon. 

These stones have been imprinted with the zodiac signs, allowing the obelisk’s shadow to match the sun’s movement at noon. 

This creative addition adds an air of fascination to the square, unusually blending artistry and utility. 

The complex paving design and interactive sundial feature add to the overall appeal and interest of St. Peter’s Square.

4. Spina

“Spina” refers to median structures that separate two or more roads. 

The buildings that separate the streets Borgo Vecchio and Borgo Nuovo hide many views of St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Benito Mussolini planned to remove the Spina in 1936, making Castel Sant’Angelo visible from the Basilica.

5. Statues

Standing proudly at a height of 64 feet, 140 statues are gracing the summits of the oval-shaped colonnades. 

Pope Alexander VII ordered these wonderful statues representing a variety of Saints and Martyrs. A skilled architect Lorenzo Morelli was assigned to their creation, which took more than ten years to complete. 

Each statue is a tribute to the talent and passion that went into their creation, bringing a touch of divine beauty to the architectural wonder that is St. Peter’s Square.

6. Fountains

The two fountains that surround St. Peter’s Square are practically identical. An architect, Carlo Maderno, created the first fountain in 1614. 

Later 1675, Bernini constructed the second fountain, replicating Maderno’s design to preserve a uniform aesthetic. 

These twin fountains add to the square’s overall beauty as stunning displays of St. Peter’s Square architecture consistency and skill.

St. Peter’s Square opening hours

The opening hours of St. Peter’s Square are the same as the St. Peter Basilica hours. 

St. Peter’s Square is located in the heart of Vatican City, just in front of the Basilica of St. Peter.  

It is always open unless it is closed due to a ceremony. 

Remember that St. Peter’s Basilica is open from 7 am to 7 pm. (6 pm in winter), so arrange your visit around that.

Best time to visit St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square is a significant landmark in Vatican City, so expect heavy crowds throughout the year. 

The best time to visit is either in the morning between 7 am and 9 am or between 6 pm and 7 pm to avoid crowds.

How to reach St. Peter’s Square from Vatican Museum?

Here are the instructions on how to make your way from the Vatican Museums to St. Peter’s Square:

1. Exit the Vatican Museums:

Make your way to the exit after exploring the Vatican Museums. 

If you need directions, ask the museum staff or watch the signs.

2. Walk towards St. Peter’s Basilica

Proceed to St. Peter’s Basilica from the Vatican Museums. 

The basilica’s dome is a distinctive landmark and is instantly recognizable. Follow the signs or pathways that lead to St. Peter’s Square.

3. Cross Via della Conciliazione:

As you approach St. Peter’s Square, you will come across Via della Conciliazione, a significant road. 

To safely cross this road, use the pedestrian crosswalks or tunnels while paying attention to the traffic lights.

4. Enter St. Peter’s Square:

After passing through Via della Conciliazione, you will arrive at the St. Peter’s Square entrance. 

Pass through the St. Peter’s Square colonnades and make your way to the open area of the square.


In Conclusion, visit St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. 

You will be amazed by this fascinating blend of art, history, and spirituality. 

Every minute here is unforgettable, from Michelangelo’s great masterwork to the interesting underground Grottoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How many people fit in St. Peter’s Square?

St. Peter’s Square’s capacity is about 20,000 for seated worshippers and up to 60,000 standing visitors.

How many square feet is St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Square is around 23,000 square meters (247,000 square feet) in size.

What is the schedule for mass at St. Peter’s Square?

St. Peter’s Square Mass is held regularly, particularly on Sundays and other notable religious festivals. It’s best to check the official Vatican website because the schedule may change.

What is St. Peter’s Square address?

The address for St. Peter’s Square is the same as St. Peter’s Basilica. 

It stands right in front of the Basilica.
The full address is –  Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City.

Can we visit St. Peter’s Square at night?

Yes, St. Peter’s Square is open to the public at night, allowing tourists to see the square’s magnificence and beauty in the night light. 

The square is illuminated, creating an appealing environment for night visits.

Where can I find St. Peter’s Square directions?

You can find directions to St. Peter’s Square by using navigation applications. 

You can also use guidebooks or ask locals for directions if you need assistance finding St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

And if you want to avoid all these hassles, we recommend you book a guided tour of the Vatican that will give you access to St. Peter’s Square. 

What is the significance of St. Peter’s Square?

St. Peter’s area is famous and historic in Vatican City. 

It serves as a meeting area for religious ceremonies, papal audiences, notable events, and the entry to St. Peter’s Basilica.

Can I attend a papal audience at St. Peter’s Square?

Yes, papal audiences are held on Wednesdays (depending on the Pope’s schedule).

Is there an entrance fee to visit St. Peter’s Square?

No, there is no entrance fee to St. Peter’s Square. 

It is a public square that is open to all visitors.

Is there any dress code to enter St. Peter’s Square?

There is no official dress code for entering the square. It is encouraged that visitors dress respectfully to respect the sacred essence of the location.

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About the author

Om is a passionate wordsmith fueled by an insatiable thirst for adventure and exploration. He strives to immortalize wonders via his writing.