A Glimpse of St. Peter’s Basilica

What religious structure moved you?

The Vatican is somewhere we have always wanted to see, and we got our chance when we were in Rome. We climbed St. Peter’s Basilica, but climbing it is only half the experience. There is a treasure trove of fascinating architecture, history, and sculptures to see.

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Our main priority at St. Peter’s Basilica was to climb the tower. When we were ushered from visiting the cupola (dome), we spent our remaining time seeing the rest of this magnificent place after sunset.

The construction of St. Peter’s Basilica started in 1506 and ended in 1626. It is considered to be the largest church in the world and regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. The tomb of Saint Peter is suspected to be directly below the high altar of the basilica.

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Michelangelo’s Pieta is one of the world’s most famous religious sculptures, and also one of the most recognized. Michelangelo created the sculpture in 1500 and was criticized because Mary looked too young. He responded that her chastity retained her youth.

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The sculpture is behind bulletproof glass. In 1972, a disturbed man took a hammer to it breaking the nose off Mary, and breaking off one of her arms. He claimed to be Jesus and said this was not what his mom looked like. The museum restored it based on a 1934 copy in the museum.

St. Peter’s Baldachin is a Baroque sculpture over the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica. It is intended to mark the place of Saint Peter’s tomb underneath. It is huge, just like the surrounding structure making us feel very small.

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This is a fascinating place to visit and is stunning with so many details and art.


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