The most important cathedral in Roman Catholism is the historical Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica. With Italian greats such as Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini; St Peter's Basillica remains one of the most significant rennaisance architectural marvel. What astounds most people is that the Basillica is one of the holiest Roman Catholic site, yet it is not the birthplace of roman Catholism nor the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. To understand why it is such an important church in Christendom, check out the following facts about it.
1. The current Basilica was built from April 18, 1506; and it is the second Basilica. The first was built on orders of Constantine I in the year 324.
2. Charlemagne was crowned the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in on Christmas Day in year 800 on the older Basillica.
3. The St. Peters Basillica is home to over 100 tombs, 91 of which belongs to popes, and the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II and Swedish Queen Christina; 2 royalties who gave up the throne for Catholism.
4. The baldacchino of St. Peter’s, the solid bronze canopy over the main alter is 96 feet tall.
5. No, thew decorations on the walls of St. Peter's Basillica are not paintings. Rather they are intricately done mosaic that show cases the Roman's genius in arts.
6. Michelangelo’s Pietà, which the sculpture genius carved when he was only 24 was in 1972 attacked by a mental-case named Laszlo Toth. He broke of the nose and hand using a hammer. It was later painstakingly restored. Today, it is protected by bulletproof glass.
7. Although still in contention, the reason why the altar of the current St. Peters was built where it is was because it is though that St. Peter was buried directly beneath the altar.
8. The Basillica has a Holy Door that is only opened during holy years such as jubilee.
9. On the outside top colonade of St. Peter's Basilica are over 140 statues of various saints.
10 Finally, there is rumor that there is enough picture frames St. Peter's Basilica for all the popes that will reign over the Catholic church before the apocalypse. The people who prepared these frames are said to have known under which pope the apocalypse will happen and thus prepared all the frames...ever heard of that? Religion is a strange bed fellow...
A visit to the Basilica is one of those things that should be on top of your bucket list. Whether you are a catholic or not, you will appreciate the attention to detail that went into this magnificent church.
For more information on tours of the Vatican and accommodation in Rome, please contact a Travel Specialist at North South Travel today