Construction of Old St. Peter’s Basilica began 324 CE by order of Emperor Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626. The renaissance architecture was principally designed by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The Vatican Museums originated as a group of sculptures collected by Pope Julius II (1503-1513CE). The popes were among the first sovereigns who opened the art collections of their palaces to the public, thus promoting knowledge of art, culture, and history.