Monday, September 15, 2008

Inside St. Peter's

Our second day in Rome was spent filling in the other must see sights. We started off by strolling downhill to the Vatican. We checked out the line into the Vatican Museum, and it was so epic that we decided that it could wait. I had no desire to start my day off with two hours in line!

Since it was right around the corner we headed inside St. Peter's instead. I suppose knowing that St. Peter's Basilica is among the very holiest and grandest places in all Christendom should have prepared me for the sheer spectacle of the inside, but it really didn't.

While I pride myself as a photographer, this is one case where photos just cannot capture the grandeur and glory of Michelangelo's work. It really was both utterly awe-inspiring and a tad overwhelming.

In their quest for the most impressive building yet built, the designers of St. Peter's looked to both the Roman Pantheon and Brunelleschi's recently completed dome in Florence. Really, the construction of the Basilica marked a return to the grand Roman tradition of architecture. While obviously different in style, the structure is just as impressive and massive as the greatest Roman buildings of earlier times.

Ironically, I didn't find out that you could go up in the dome until after we left, so while I did surmount two of the great four, I did miss seeing Rome from the top of St. Peters. (This simply means that I'll have something to look forward too when I go back to Rome. Always keep something in reserve.)

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