St. Peter’s Basilica, the center of the Roman Catholic Faith

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Having seen and read about the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica only in books or television, the experience of actually stepping foot inside this massive structure known to us Catholics as the center of the Roman Catholic Faith and writing about it now is hard for me to imagine.

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The Facade designed by Maderno, is built of travertine stone. The façade welcomes you with a giant order of Corinthian columns and a central pediment rising in front of a tall attic surmounted by statues: Jesus Christ and the Apostles (except Peter, whose statue is left of the stairs).

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A portion of the dome inside the Basilica.  Giacomo della Porta and Fontana brought the dome to completion in 1590, the last year of the reign of Sixtus V.

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The altar with Bernini’s Baldacchino. The Baldacchino, is a 98 ft tall pavilion-like structure that stands beneath the dome and above the altar. Gianlorenzo Bernini’s first work at St. Peter’s was to design it and now it is claimed to be the largest piece of bronze in the world.

La Pieta

La Pieta

The Pietà, the famous work of Michelangelo at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus.  A definite must see when you travel to the Vatican City.