The Vatican City has attracted both travelers and religious devotees alike for many, many years. Devotees, in particular, head to the Vatican in the hopes to see the current pope. 

However, did you know that you can find the resting places of previous popes in the Vatican as well? These tombs, in fact, can be found with the St. Peter's Basilica. 

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

(Photo : Bella Javier Liamzon / Travelers Today )

The basilica you see today began construction in 1506 as a replacement to the old basilica, which was built all the way back in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. The basilica is is designed by Donato Bramante, Carlo Maderno, and of course, Michelangelo himself. 

Today, St. Peter's Basilica serves as the resting places of the Catholic Church's popes, including its very first one. 

St. Peter's Tomb

St. Peter's Tomb, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

(Photo : Bella Javier Liamzon / Travelers Today )

In the Catholic faith, Peter the Apostle is the first pope of the Church. Christian tradition says that Peter was crucified during the time of Emperor Nero, and it is believed that his body has been buried where the St. Peter's Basilica stands today. 

Saint Peter's tomb is found right below the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica. The area is known as the Vatican Necropolis, and this is where other popes are likewise buried.

Visitors can tour the Vatican Necropolis during their visit to the basilica, during which they may see Peter's tomb. 

Related Article: You Probably Didn't Know That These Museums Can Be Found Inside the Vatican

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II's Tomb, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

(Photo : Bella Javier Liamzon / Travelers Today )

As mentioned, other popes also call St. Peter's Basilica as their final resting place. One pope who is buried here is none other than St. John Paul II. 

The third longest serving pope in the history of the Catholic Church, John Paul II died on April 2, 2005. Like many popes before him, he was buried in the Vatican Grottoes, which is located beneath the St. Peter's Basilica. However, upon his beatification in 2011, his tomb was moved into the main body of the basilica with Pope Benedict XVI taking his place in the grottoes. 

Today, his remain are placed under the Altar of St. Sebastian near where Michaelangelo's Pieta can be found. Visitors can approach and even pray near the tomb of John Paul II. However, taking close-up photographs of his final resting place are not allowed. 

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