Rome, Italy – St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basillica

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!  Any place you would like to visit here seems about a 10 min cab ride away!  With 2 of the most famous places on Earth – The Vatican and The Colosseum – who wouldn’t want to visit!   I was truly mesmerized during my visit to the Vatican.  Such history and beauty everywhere you looked.  One word – surreal! My jaw dropped as soon as I walked into St. Peter’s Basilica.  Looking upward is true breathtaking art!   I have read about the amazing Dome, but was curious about the dark canopy that stands in the middle lower section of this photo.

Here is some info from the web:   At the crossing of the transepts is the central focus of the interior, the baldacchino. This monumental canopy shelters the papal altar and the holy relics of St. Peter. Artistically, it also serves to fill the vertical space under Michelangelo’s great dome. Made of 927 tons of dark bronze (removed from the Pantheon’s roof in 1633) accented with gold vine leaves, the baldacchino stands 90 feet (30 meters) tall. The baldacchino was created by Lorenzo Bernini from 1624 to 1633 under the direction of Barberini pope Urban VIII, who added Baroque embellishment to much of Rome.

The spiral columns derive their shapes from the columns of the baldacchino in the original St. Peter’s Basilica built by Constantine, which legend has it came from Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. Cherubs are repeated throughout the monument, giving an overall effect of the Ark of the Covenant. Symbols of the Barberini family can be seen throughout, including a golden sun and bees. Thus, in addition to being a beautiful work of art, the baldacchinio symbolizes the union of the Old Testament wisdom of Solomon, the Christian tradition of Constantine, and the rebirth of a triumphal church under the guidance of the Barberini family.

If I have the chance to visit again…I would enjoy reading a book about all the wonders of The Vatican before I visit.  This visit I went in with little knowledge…next time I will be an expert!  Hopefully!  Hope your day is enlightened!

Rome, Italy – St. Peter’s Basilica – HDR

Rome - St. Peter's - HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

In honor of the movie Angles & Demons coming out this week.  It is the follow up to the Da Vinci Code.  A&D takes place in Rome.  I am just about finished reading the book.  I wanted to read the book beofre I saw the movie.  Always makes it fun to compare.   I had my fun at the Vatican that one day as noted in my previous post about the stairs.   Later that day I spent about 1 hour in St. Peter’s walking and taking photos.   Probably one of the most amazing places I have ever seen!  I just kept looking up and I could not believe what I was seeing.   You know you are somewhere special when you get that outer body feel and that tingle feeling while walking around.   Very sureal.

The Basilica of St. Peter’s is one of four major Basilica’s in Rome.  It is the most prominent building inside Vatican City.   It is the largest Church in Chritianity and has a capacity of 60,000 people.  Construction of the new Basilica over the older Constantinian Basilica began in April 1506.  Michelangelo was one of the major artitists to contribute to the architecture of St. Peter’s.   You can read more about it by clicking  St. Peter’s.  

I do not think they allow tripods in the Church…so everything must be hand held.  This shot is of the inside of the dome.  I took this hand held…again lucky!   I braced my arms solidly and took 5 exposures.  Such a tough angle looking upwards.  I post processed in Photomatix.  I think you can easily spend a day just inside St. Peter’s!    Talk about a Place 2 Explore…Rome is in the top of the list!