What you see inside St Peter Basilica in the Vatican will be with you in a long time, if not, forever. As someone who grew up Catholic, it’s kinda big deal for me being inside a colossal place of worship. No, I didn’t meet the living Pope but I saw the tombs of the dead Popes. 🙂
The Domes of St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelagelo designed the massive dome soaring majestically towards the sky. It seems like a gigantic tiara, hanging over the tomb of St. Peter. Probably the largest dome built with that height. The immense structure seems to be hanging from the sky, by some unseen force, almost weightless. Although its lines are simple, the overall effect is overpowering. This single structure exemplifies the genius of Michelangelo.
Do This. Climb the dome of the basilica and you’ll be rewarded by amazing views of the City of Vatican. Hopefully, the weather would be nice for you. 😀
The moment you enter the basilica – the glorious ceiling and the colored marble floors will awe you. The figures of the saints who founded various religious orders are embedded between the pillars. The dome is decorated in mosaic in colors of blue, gold and red. The magnificence of 96 figures embedded in the mosaic is inspiring. The tomb of St. Peter, designed by Bernini, is directly under the dome.
The Tomb of St. Peter is the center piece and holiest place in the basilica. Peter is buried here, in a simple tomb but over it the grand basilica is built. Day and night, 99 oil lamps burn along the two semi-circular ramps.
Do not miss “The Pieta” by Michelangelo. This sculpture is remarkable in its splendor and its exquisiteness. There is a deep religious aura to it. Michelangelo carved it when he was very young, and his signature appears on it. The beauty of its lines and expression leaves everyone speechless with an impression that would last for a long time.
The imposing church you see today isn’t the original basilica of St. Peter. It’s actually number two!
The original church was built in the 4th century which was torn down. The “new” basilica, built from 1506-1626, is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.
Do you know that can climb to the top of the the basilica’s cathedral? You should do it because the views up there are breathtaking. And oh, once you’re there, you’ll be closer to heaven, too! 😀
The paintings that appear to be hanging inside the basilica are not actually paintings. These are intricately-made frescoes of small glass pieces.
In 1972, a deranged man damaged the Michelangelo’s ‘The Pietà’ with a hammer. He broke off Mary’s nose and decapitated her arm. The sculpture was then restored and reinstalled in St. Peter’s, but now it is placed in a bullet-proof glass enclosure.
St Peter’s Basilica has over more than one hundred tombs located in it. Ninety one are the tombs of popes.
Other famous persons buried here include the Queen of Sweden, Queen Christina who converted to Catholicism.
Money-Saving Tip in Rome and Vatican
Rome and the Vatican are packed with places to see and history to marvel at. If you’re going to stay there for a few days only, it’s very impossible to squeeze and see everything you want to see. This Rome & Vatican Pass will let you see the places you’ve been dying to visit and known of from the pages of history books.
Hostel Alessandro Palace and Bar is your best bet in Rome. This hostel exceeded my expectations. The spacious rooms are secured with magnetic key cards and equipped with safe lockers for your valuables. You have to bring your own lock though. If you forgot to bring one, you can always buy one in their vending machine downstairs. They also have a bar that serves your alcohol needs. The staff are friendly and speaks English, too. The area has a lot of cafes, restaurants and grocery shops. The Roman Colosseum is 30 minutes and the Trevi Fountain is 20 minutes walk from here. But, most of all, it’s less than 5 minutes walk to the Rome Central Station. Trains to the airport and to another parts of Italy start and end in this station. You can book Hostel Alessandro Palace and Bar in Rome via HostelWorld and Booking.