Sunday, June 6, 2010

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

Posted by Kero at Sunday, June 06, 2010
"Could there be more Italians going to heaven?," Hubby wondered loudly as we we walked around Rome. Every corner we turn to, a glorious chapel or church facade greets us.

The most famous of them would be St. Peter's Basilica. The entrance to the world's largest and most impressive basilica is free. It opens around 7am so if you want to beat the crowd, go as early as you can. Bear in mind to dress appropriately.
St. Peter's Square at 7 am. Yes we skipped the hotel breakfast for this shot hihi.

After a body-check by security guards and having our belongings passed through metal detectors (think airport check-in), we reached main entrance. A portico or atrium will  welcome  you first before you set your eyes on the Basilica entrance.

 On the magnificent ceiling and walls of The Portico depicts the construction of the Basilica.

St. Peter's Basilica has four doors. (1) The Holy Door which is only opened every 25 years of the Holy Year. It represents Christ, the Savior, the Shepherd, and Teacher. (2) The Center Door is a hymn to Christ, the Virgin Mary, and to the two pillars of Roman Church, Peter and Paul. (3) The Door of Good & Evil with obvious theme of the conflict between good and evil. (4) The Door of Judgment depicting death which leads to holiness.

The boys at The Center Door.

Stepping inside, we were greeted by two statues of chubby angels holding the Holy Water stoups.

To the right side is probably the world's most famous religious subject. Michelangelo carved the Pieta when he was 24 and the only one he ever signed. It is said that he was criticized for having portrayed Virgin Mary as too young since she actually must have been 45-50 years old when Jesus died. Michelangelo said that he did so deliberately  because the effects of ti,e could not mar the virginal features of this, the most blessed of women. he also said the he was thinking of his own mother's face - he was only five when she died.

Pieta sculpted by Michelangelo

We walked on and reached the mystical Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The Sacrament is here for the faithful to see and is particularly awe-inspiring for Roman Catholics. The tabernacle is designed by Bernini.

Then we saw the Monument to Pope Gregory XIII, an expert in Law and Theology. He is depicted here  presiding over a meeting of scientists. The figure of the Pontiff is the most beautiful in all papal iconography. The sculpture was carved by Camilo Rusconi from Milan.

Monument to Pope Gregory XIII

Next is the world famous ancient statue of St. Peter, preaching while holding the keys to the  kingdom of heaven. Pilgrims who come to the Basilica traditionally kiss its foot that it is literally worn thin.

The Baldachin by Bernini

Gianlorenzo Bernini was26 years old when he made this Baroque art masterpiece. The four spiral columns is richly decorated with gold. It serves as a gigantic processional canopy of the Basilica. It is here that pilgrims through the centuries have stopped to pray and honor St. Peter.

Now comes the holiest place in the Basilica, the most venerated tomb in the world. Peter is here, for two thousand years, in a humble, simple tomb over which the magnificent triumphal basilica was built.

St. Peter's Tomb

Then we raise our heads to admire this glory - The Dome.

Written around it is:
" are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church. ... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven..."

An entry for



7 sweets for Kero:

Poetic Shutterbug on June 7, 2010 at 9:54 AM said...

The Baldachin by Bernini is stunning. Spectacular architecture and color. I so wish I could see this in person someday.

ilovepink1078 on June 7, 2010 at 12:55 PM said...

Indeed this is one of the place that I wanted to see and experience. Wow, much thing to know in this place. Thanks for sharing this info.

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ilovepink1078 on June 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM said...

By the way, I followed you in Google connect and Networked. This is one way to keep in touch. Hope you do the same.
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eileeninmd on June 7, 2010 at 1:25 PM said...

A gorgeous place to visit, lovely photos. Thanks for sharing your tour. Happy MYM!

witsandnuts on June 7, 2010 at 4:02 PM said...

This kind of photos never fail to remind me of Dan Brown's novels. =)

wendy on June 8, 2010 at 6:58 AM said...

what a grand vacation in a grandiose place.

Sassy Mom on June 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM said...

Well, with a place that gorgeous.. I'll skip breakfast anytime.


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