The Basilica of the Saint was designed and built, starting in 1826, by Antonio Serra, an architect from Bologna, on the grounds of the ancient Church of the 5th century, which was demolished to make place for the new Basilica.
A grave loss for the history of art, in fact it has been erased an early Christian monument of pre-Romanesque style.
The Basilica is the main religious building in the Country since it conserves the relics of the Founder of the community of San Marino – St. Marino.
The Basilica, consecrated in 1855, has a neo-classic style with a portico of Corinthian columns. The massive bell tower, originally in Romanic style, was rebuilt in the 1600’s.
Internally, the Basilica has three aisles and seven altars. The throne of the Regents, dating to the 1600’s, is situated to the left of the main altar; under the alter a small urn contains the bones of St. Marino; on the right, a marble monument houses a shrine which contains the top of the Saint’s skull.
The Church of San Pietro, dating to the XVI century and renovated in or about 1826, is situated to the right of the Basilica. It can be reached from the sacristy by means of a stairway built into the bell tower of the Basilica.
The apsis of the Church of St. Peter is entirely made of live rock, with two recesses carved into it. Local beliefs indicate these as the beds of San Marino and San Leo and attribute miracles to them. The XVII century marble alter, donated by the Roman musician Antonio Tedeschi in 1689, is dominated by the statue of St. Peter, masterpiece of the sculptor Enrico Saroldi. In 1914, a crypt was built under the church to house the urn which for many centuries contained the bones of the Saint.