The ancient site of St. Peter’s Basilica, dates all the way back to the 1st century AD. The Christian persecution, which started mid-century, was intensified by Nero when he martyred, crucified and buried St. Peter in the Caligula’s Circus circa 64 AD. His humble grave was visited by the faithful for hundreds of years. In honor of St. Peter, Emperor Constantine ordered the construction of a basilica over his tomb in 324 AD.
Today, you can only image the wonder that has transformed the tomb of a saint, into one of the most immaculate works of art and architecture in the world. Major renovations to the basilica took place starting in the mid 15th century, until approximately 1626. One certainly could stand in awe of the architectonics alone.
From the master architecture by Donato Bramante…
to the Dome design by Michelangelo…
to the facade architecture by Carlo Maderno.
After our tour ended at the Sistine Chapel, our tour guide departed, as anyone is allowed to visit St. Peter’s Basilica without a ticket or guide.
As you enter the basilica, there stands a massive bronze Holy Door. Created by sculptor Vico Consorti, quite recently in 1950. This sacred door is opened and closed in the presence of the Pope, only in Jubilee Year. Here is a picture of my Mom in front of the Holy Door. Knowing her, it would be no surprise that she would nonchalantly open the door and somehow invoke some holy curse!
Upon entry to the atrium, I feel as if we just stood there, taking in the vastness of the basilica. The highest vault (dome) is 15 stories high. The entire structure is 613 feet long (which is just short of the length of two football fields). St. Peter’s Basilica can house up to 20,000 people.
The nave boasts towering pillars, referred to as fluted and cabled pilasters. You will find 39 statues of saints, each in their own niche, dedicated to various religious orders. Most likely, I took a picture of each one, although I’ve showcased just a few in light of this article. (I’ve got serious issues with taking too many pictures).
The construction of the Dome, designed by Michelangelo, started in 1547. Sadly, at the age of 89, Michelangelo died before it’s completion. His pupil, Giacomo Della Porta, finished the Dome in 1590. Certainly the vault is a bit hard to photograph. Beyond a doubt, pictures do not do justice to this amazing work of engineering. Using a 60x’s binocular zoom, I was able to capture a glimpse of the bewildering wonder.
The Papal altar is enblazened in gilded bronze, towering almost 100 feet high. Located directly under the vault, it stands like a dwarf in light of the 15-story dome above. In all of its wonder, words cannot describe the ornate beauty and detail. An ivory dove decorates the peak of the papal alter, symbolizing peace to all.
Please check out our St. Peter’s Basilica image gallery, as we could not fit all the photos into our post! Enjoy!
Micah Lyn is an Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Instructor registered with the Yoga Alliance. She offers a variety of private yoga classes, therapeutic yoga sessions and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Los Angeles Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Trainings, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.
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