St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world. It is named after one of Jesus’s twelve disciples known as Saint Peter, who became one of the founders of the Catholic Church and was executed in Rome and buried where the Basilica now stands. St Peter’s Basilica can accomodate 20,000 people. It measures 190 m long and the central nave is 46 m tall. The dome stands 136 m tall. One of the most impressive parts of the Basilica is its incredible dome. Its design was started by Michelangelo and continued by Giacomo Della Porta. Carlo Maderno finished the dome in 1614. This dome has served as inspiration for many other cathedrals and buildings, for example, the Capitol in Washington and St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
This fact blew my mind: None of the paintings inside the basilica are actually paintings! Although, at first glance, the basilica’s interior appears to be elaborately decorated with paintings—from frescoes in the dome to the huge paintings hanging on the walls— it’s not. Every single one of those “paintings” is actually a mosaic, done with such painstaking detail, and such tiny tesserae (the little pieces of glass making the mosaic up), that they only appear to be paintings. INCREDIBLE!
Above, Eli completely falling in love with letters and numbers.
After hours of walking through hallways filling with artworks, canvases and statues, we finally allowed Eli to stretch his legs. He had taken a nap while we were in the Vatican Museums, so by the time that we got to St. Peter’s Basilica, we were relieved that there was more room for him to move here. We let him roam for a while. All of us enjoyed the freedom that we felt here, especially after the overly crowded Sistine Chapel.
St. Peter’s Basilica was definitely our favorite part of the Vatican City!