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Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

#10 of 520 in Historic Sites in Rome
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Tourists and pilgrims flock to Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli to see both the legendary chains of St. Peter, which are said to have bound him when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem, and Michelangelo's statue of Moses, built as part of a tomb of Pope Julius II. The church, consecrated in 439 CE, underwent several major restorations over the centuries. The most notable renovation and expansion effort added the front portico and the cloister in the 15th century. Michelangelo's "Moses," with two small horns sticking out of his head, was intended as part of a massive, 47-statue monument for Pope Julius II, but it eventually became the centerpiece of the funeral monument and tomb. Moses' horns, once the subject of much curiosity, simply represent beams of light, a kind of iconographic symbolism common in early sacred art. To visit Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli on your holiday in Rome, and find out what else Rome has to offer, use our Rome.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
5,459 reviews
  • It is always a great pleasure to return to this splendid church. This year it was even more beautiful because we attended mass on Easter day: a very simple and intimate mass, also due to the Covid...  more »
  • We had a bit of trouble finding this, but so glad we got here as it is a gem of a place. It is on the Oppian hill near the colisseum and looks quite plain from the outside but beautiful once you step....  more »
  • A must visit place in Rome where one can spend a quite and intimate couple of hours. Striking sculpture by Michelangelo. Remarkable wall painting in the nave. Marvelous inlay of St. Sebastian and many other wall pieces. Watching the €2 video tour is highly recommended.
  • One of my favorite stops in Rome! Not only do you get to see one of the most amazing sculptures from Michelangelo (my opinion), the Illumination of Moses, but you also get to see the Chains that held Peter in captivity, as well as an absolutely amazing Basilica! It is definitely one of the top places to visit in Rome.

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