the Catholic Church began celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the
largest church in Christendom--St. Peter’s Basilica. Construction on
the massive structure began in 1506.
The Vatican recently announced a series of exhibits and ceremonies continuing throughout the year to mark the occasion.
The Basilica was dedicated in 1626 by Pope Urban VIII. It stands on the site where St. Peter himself was crucified in the first century. The body of the first Pope is buried directly underneath the main altar.