The Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli is a 5th century temple that is located very close to the Colosseum in Rome and was built to house the chains with which Saint Peter was imprisoned in Jerusalem.
But the main reason why this basilica is famous is that inside it is the famous Moses by Michelangelo, which we have seen so many times in books. The basilica is located on top of a promontory so you will have to climb some stairs to reach it.
There is a Tour of the basilicas of Rome, which we recommend you take because in a very short time you will be able to see them all at the hands of an expert guide.
The visit to San Pietro in Vincoli
The main facade of San Pietro in Vincoli will not tell you anything. It looks like an ordinary building that only resembles a Christian temple because of the bars on its doors.
If you go through the door you may not want to enter, unless you know the wonders that are kept inside.
The main monument inside is the Mausoleum of Julius II, which you can find on the left side of the temple.
This mausoleum is made up of several statues but there is one that stands out above all and is one of Michelangelo ‘s masterpieces.
It is the Moses and it is the main reason why this basilica receives tourists. This impressive sculpture is usually found in semi-darkness until someone makes a donation and it begins to light up.
But it is not the only jewel found in this basilica.
We can also find the relic for which this temple was built, the Chains of San Pedro that are found under the High Altar.
According to legend, the chains were offered to Pope Leo I, who compared them to those that Saint Peter had been imprisoned. At that very moment, both chains miraculously joined.
Of the rest of the basilica there is little to highlight since, unlike the rest of the churches in Rome, it does not have much decoration or works of art. Even so, it is almost essential to visit it and this will not take you more than 10 minutes.