Where to admire Michelangelo’s Moses
The 16th-century façade of San Pietro in Vincoli (“Saint Peter in Chains”) in Rome dominates the square on which the church stands. Also named the Eudossian Basilica, it was built in the 5th century by order of Licinia Eudoxia, daughter of Theodosius II, Eastern Roman emperor.
Legend says that Licina held one of Saint Peter’s chains during his imprisonment in Jerusalem and that, when she gave it to Pope Leo the Great, who held another, the two chains merged. The church was built to celebrate this miracle and guard the relic, located under the high altar, which you can admire every year on the first of August.
In the early 16th century, the portico and façade were rebuilt under Julius II. The main attraction is one of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s masterpieces, the statue of Moses, crafted between 1505 and 1515, which was supposed to decorate Julius II’s funeral monument but was never completed.
The church also houses a painting of Saint Augustine by Guercino and works by Pomarancio and Domenichino. Under the floor of the nave, buildings from an earlier Roman domus from the Roman Republic and Imperial periods were found in the early 20th century.