See the Beautiful St. Peter's Square with TravelVatican.com
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East of St. Peter's Basilica tourists can admire the Piazza di San Pietro, or in English: The Saint Peter's Square. It was designed and constructed in the mid 17 century by the known pre-eminent Baroque sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini and under the supervision of Pope Alexander VII.
The square has two fountains - one built by Maderno in 1614 and one by Bernini himself in 1675. The area is divided to two different parts - one is of a trapezoid shape, walled by two arms and the second is elliptical and surrounded by two four-row colonnade. In the middle of it stands the great obelisk, taken from Egypt by the Emperor Gaius Caligula in 37 A.D. This ancient monument is over 25 meters tall and stands on bronze lions.
The square is 320 meters deep, 240 meters. Bernini's pupils went on building 140 statues of different saints, all 3.20 meters high and set along the balustrade. At the bottom of the staircase leading to the basilica itself visitors can watch the status of two saints - St. Peter and Saint Paul.
Bernini's ingenious design and production made the St. Peter's square into a real architectural masterpiece. It uses perspective and the piazza's surrounding to create a long lasting effect. It uses sizes and angles to confuse the human eye and intrigue the imagination. Where Bramante and Michelangelo, the architects that dreamt the basilica made it secluded, standalone and detached from the earthly environment, Bernini connected it back to Earth, tying it to the surrounding and merging it within the already existing world.