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San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

Aerial view of San Pietro in Vincoli. View all images in our San Pietro in Vincoli Photo Gallery.
St. Peter's chains enshrined at the Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli. Photo © GFDL.
statue (1515). Photo © Prasenberg.

San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) is a minor basilica in Rome that houses St. Peter's chains and Michelangelo's famous Moses statue.


The basilica was first built in the middle of the 5th century to house the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter while imprisoned in Jerusalem, given to Pope Leo I by Empress Eudoxia (wife of Emperor Valentinian III).

According to legend, when the pope held them next to the chains from of Peter's first imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, the two chains miraculously fused together.

The basilica has undergone several restorations and rebuildings, including a restoration by Pope Adrian I, a rebuilding by Pope Sixtus IV and another by Pope Julius II. There was also a renovation in 1875. Some modernizations were made at that time.

What to See

The chains said to have held Peter in Rome and Jerusalem are kept in a reliquary under the main altar in the basilica.

Michelangelo's magnificent Moses, which dates from 1515, is the most notable piece of artwork in the basilica. It was originally intended as part of a 40-statue funeral monument for Pope Julius II.

Getting There

From the V. Cavour Metro station, cross the boulevard and walk up the flight of stairs. Turn right into the piazza; the church is on the left.

Quick Facts on San Pietro in Vincoli

Site Information
Names:San Pietro in Vincoli; San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome; St. Peter in Chains
Categories:Churches; Shrines; Catholic Shrines
Faiths:Christianity; Catholic
Dates:5th C; later renovations
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Rome, Italy
Coordinates:41.893573° N, 12.493354° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of San Pietro in Vincoli

Below is a location map and aerial view of San Pietro in Vincoli. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. St. Peter in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli) - Frommer's Attraction Review
  2. San Pietro in Vincoli - Fodor's Online Travel Guide

More Information

Article Info

Title:San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/09/2010
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-san-pietro-in-vincoli/italy/rome-san-pietro-in-vincoli">San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome</a>