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St. Peter's Basilica Dome

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What may be the most recognizable feature of Italy doesn't technically stand on Italian soil. Rather, St Peter's Dome belongs to the Bramante-designed St Peter's Basilica in the city-state of the Vatican. Dubbed as the highest dome building in the world as well as the grandest building in Christendom, the basilica’s dome is not only an iconic piece of architecture, but also a symbol for Catholics around the world. With that said, the construction of the dome, like Rome itself, wasn't built overnight.

The ground work for the entire basilica was laid in 1506 by famed Roman architect Donato Bramante and was later passed on to successors such as Raphael. But, using the ideas and designs of previous architects, it was Michelangelo that pushed forward a large section of the dome. When he passed, he left behind the drum for the dome and a wooden carving for his assistant to continue his work.