11 Things You Won’t Believe Can Fit Inside St. Peter’s Basilica


Next Saturday (June 29) will mark the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

As the universal Church prepares to honor two of her greatest saints, Catholics around the world will be asking themselves the same question that they do every year around this time:

What huge things could fit inside St. Peter’s Basilica?


st. peters interior


Everyone knows that St. Peter”s is not only beautiful, but enormous as well (realtor.com has it valued at $11 trillion – “vintage artwork, charming accents, big back yard surrounded by Italy”).  But even those who have been inside the colossal structure don’t fully appreciate how big it is.  This is because the sheer enormity of its dimensions combined with its virtually perfect architectural balance tricks the human eye and confounds our ability to appreciate its actual size.

This phenomenon is commonly known as “gargantu-opticodimensional pseudoperception.”  Actually, Wikipedia had a different name for it, but who trusts Wikipedia?

Before we start, these are the dimensions of St. Peter’s basilica relevant for our little project (via Wikipedia):

Interior length:     693.8 ft.

Interior width at transept:     451 ft.

Interior width of nave:     90.2 ft.

Interior height of dome:     393 ft.

So without further ado…the following things can fit inside St. Peter’s Basilica:


1.   The Statue of Liberty.  Yes, including the pedestal.


statue of liberty



2.   The Space Shuttle.  Including external fuel tank, boosters, etc.


space shuttle



3.   The Cinderella Castle at Disney World.  Our national shrine?


cinderella castle



4.   The Great Sphinx of Giza.  With lots of room to spare.





5.   Air Force One.  Easily – probably two or three could fit.


air force one



6.   The 7th Hole at Pebble Beach.  They should consider adding this next time they renovate St. Peter’s.


pebble beach



7.   A Typhoon-class Russian submarine.  The largest submarine ever built.





8.   The entire population of Dubuque, Iowa.  St. Peter’s Basilica can fit 60,000 people – no joke.





9.   Imperial AT-AT Walker.  Pope Francis, signaling a clear departure from his predecessors, should get one of these.






10.   Two Popes.  Yup.


two popes



11.   Every marshmallow in the world.  I’m just going to stand by that one and wait for someone to prove me wrong.






Categories:Humor Vatican

12 thoughts on “11 Things You Won’t Believe Can Fit Inside St. Peter’s Basilica

  1. Bud says:


    Study up on what an indulgence is before you ask such an uninformed question

  2. Brokenbose says:

    More than your Church needs, Joe O.

  3. Blandina S. Guzman says:

    Many thanks to the info! Wow, truly BIG! My dream to visit!

  4. I love that place! Especially
    interesting is what’s below it–the Scavi or the excavations. What history!

  5. pgepps says:

    Pope Francis should let Pope Emeritus Benedict drive the AT-AT. They could go cruise Dubuque.

    Seriously, I’ve been to St. Peter’s, and my memory just can’t keep up with the scale of the real thing. Awesome, and this time I’m not just being an ’80s child!

    Great column.

  6. Joe o says:

    How many indulgences were issued to build it?

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