National Geographic : 1951 Dec
© National Geographic Society 720 Ektachrome by Dave Forbert from Shostal Building St. Peter's, Michelangelo Refused Pay, Saying He Worked only for Love of God In the days of Nero, Christians were martyred on this Roman site, then the Circus of Caligula. Here the original wood-roofed St. Peter's stood for 1,200 years as the world's foremost church. The new St. Peter's, Christianity's largest edifice, was begun in 1506 by Pope Julius II. Construction required 120 years. Michelangelo, one of the principal architects, began his labors at the age of 71.