The monumental temple of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome stands at the highest point of the EUR area, where it is believed that there was an oratory of the Archconfraternity of the Pilgrims, always consecrated to the two Apostles.
The project of the basilica was carried out by the architect Arnaldo Foschini together with the architects Alfredo Energici, Vittorio Grassi, Nello Ena, Tullio Rossi, Costantino Vetriani and the engineers Alfredo Foschini and Aristide Giannelli.
Opened for worship on 3 July 1955, the church was erected as a parish on December 8th 1958. On June 29th 1966, it was consecrated by Cardinal Francesco Seper and on June 29th of the following year it was raised to the rank of Basilica.
The temple was conceived with a central Greek cross plan; the hemispherical dome, with its diameter of 32 meters, is one of the most impressive in Rome Travertine was used for the external cladding. The architectural-urban composition was completed by the lateral porticoed wings, by the two large statues depicting the patron saints Peter and Paul and by the monumental staircase joining the square of the church to the underlying viale Europa.
Outside, on the pinnacle of the lantern, there is the bronze angel by Carmelo Abate. In the center of the facade, on the sides of the cross, two other great angels, made by Federico Papi. In the niche of the facade there is a large high-relief representing Christ in the act of delivering the keys to St. Peter, made by the sculptor Giovanni Prini, who was also the author of the fine bronze door divided into ten tiles glorifying the works of Saints Peter and Paul. In the niche on the right, there is the travertine high-relief The Crucifixion of St. Peter by Alessandro Monteleone, while in the one on the left The Beheading of Saint Paul by Carlo Pini; on the front, The Conversion of Saint Paul by Venanzio Crocetti. The walls of the niches and internal chapels were decorated by Francesco Coccia with geometric and symbolic motifs. The statues of St. Peter (on the right) and St. Paul (on the left), placed at the top of the monumental staircase, were created, respectively by Domenico Ponzi and Francesco Nagni.
Above the main altar, in the background of the apse, the figure of Christ triumphant by the sculptor Attilio Selva dominates, inserted in a mosaic representing the Martyrdom and glorification of the apostles Peter and Paul, made by his son Sergio. The bronze Crucifix was made by Giuseppe Graziosi from Modena. Duilio Cambellotti made the two ambos cast in bronze with high reliefs narrating the main episodes of the preaching of St. Peter and St. Paul. In the chapel on the left, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, there is a mosaic by Bruno Saetti representing the Madonna and Child surrounded by a crown of angels. In the chapel on the right, dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, you can admire a mosaic altarpiece by the painter Janos Hajnal, depicting St. Francis with some saints of the Franciscan Order. On the tambour of the dome stand four marble high-reliefs depicting the Evangelists: Saint Luca and Saint Marco were created by Francesco Coccia, while San Giovanni and San Matteo by Enrico Castelli. On the right side there is the baptismal font enriched with mosaics and marble, made by the painter Sergio Selva. The bronze group, resting on the baptismal font and depicting the Baptism of Jesus, was made by Andrea Spadini. To the right of the entrance is the chapel of Sant’Antonio. Restored in 1978, it was enriched with the terracotta works of the painter Franco Petruzzi. In the sacristy various works of some interest and some sketches of the works made in the basilica are collected.
For the timetable of the masses and visiting conditions, please consult the contacts
To find out about all accessibility services, visit the Rome accessible section.