Known as Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, this enormous structure act as a focal point in Vatican City, drawing in the gaze and bodies of those nearby with its immense scale and of course its famously domed roof. Designed by key artists and architects of the time this mammoth of a worship place stretches over 200 metres and is unsurprisingly the biggest church in the world. Not only is it huge, but its design features mean that it is decorated lavishly from exterior to interior. From the arches that cover the windows, to the oversized statues on the rooftop, to the ornamental top of the dome that serves as a sort of crown, its clear from the outside that this is no ordinary church. Inside is no less elaborate as the curved ceilings not only enhance the sheer height but also show the skill of the architects and that of the painters who have crafted large and intricate patterns into each and every one. Standing beneath the dome guests can look upward in amazement at the perfect geometry that culminates in the host of golden squares that disappear into the centre. As you walk along the long corridors you will see that each pillar is carefully crafted, and each has columns of decoration. Nothing in here is without painstaking carving stonework; everything from the floor to the altars is a work of art in itself. The design in here conveys just how impressive, expensive, regal and important this building is, as it now sits atop the resting place of St Peter himself. This is the place to flock to if you want to see the Pope himself as he annually conducts several services here in person. Though the downside to visiting at these times is that the attendance rates reach unholy levels, with audiences of over 80,000 people known to turn up, it is not guaranteed you will get a good look at the man in white. Luckily though St Peters square serves as a perfect spillover for such unmanageable crowds, this vast open area was made in anticipation of such numbers of followers meaning that all who wish to come are welcome despite the overwhelming amount of bodies.
This is something you may not have thought about before, but the Vatican Apostolic Library holds a collection that boasts over a million books that can be accessed by those with the right credentials. Though this may not be open to everyone this research library is open to anyone who can prove their qualifications or can show their need to sift through the documents here for research purposes. The topics covered in the bunch of codices texts and more include anything on philosophy, history, law and even science. More recently the previously restricted and ominously named Vatican Secret Archives were liberated of their private status and were open to researchers. If you are eager to get your hands on some of the information in here, you will be glad to know that the process of digitizing the content is underway and therefore will be more accessible in the future. However, if you don’t make it in you will miss out on even more beautiful sculptures, paintings and elaborate ceilings that Vatican City just can’t get enough of.