29 Jul 2005 - Vatican, Vatican City State
My second time in Rome and this time with intention of seeing more than just the outside of buildings. I entered St Peter's basilica and saw the beautiful interior. monuments and tombs of many of the early popes as well as the more recent. I ran out of time again though so this precluded a visit to the Sistine Chapel. One day, I will get to see Michelangelo's frescoes, which are commonly regarded as being some of the most awe-inspiring acts of individual creativity.
Vatican - The dome within St Peter's Basilica
Originally built in the 4th century AD by Emperor Constantine, the church was in a poor state of repair by the mid 15th century. A controversial demoltion of the old church took place, destroying many precious works of art, and a new church was started. Construction of the new Basilica took 150 years. The dome soars 119 meters and stairs lead up which give a great view across Rome.
Vatican - St Peter's square from St Peter's Basilica
Laid out in the 17th century as the place for Christians of the world to gather, the immense square is bounded by two semicircular collonades, each of which is made up of four rows of columns. In the centre of the square is an obelisk brought to Rome by Caligula from Heliopolis in Egypt in 37 AD. While this may seem old, the obelisk itself dates from 1200 BC.