The new nave and aisles of St. Peter’s were commissioned by Paul V Borghese and built by Carlo Maderno in 1608-12. The mosaic inscription around the inside of the cupola (above) is written in Latin, signifying: “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven”. Peter’s mission is also recalled beneath the cornice which runs along the nave and the cross vault.
The nave (below), from the entrance to the apse, is 186.36 meters long. The decoration of the basilica, begun during the papacy of Urban VIII Barberini for the 1650 Holy Year celebrations, was designed and supervised by Bernini.