The Papal Basilica Of St Peter 's Basilica Essay

The Papal Basilica Of St Peter 's Basilica Essay

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The Papal Basilica of St Peter in the Vatican, or simply St Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest church’s in the world with a total area of 44000 square meter, with 219 square meter of the basilica itself. (Dupre’, J., 2001, p.65) Located in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome, St Peter’s Basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture. There were 4 main architects who contributed to the project Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Construction began on the new basilica on 18 April 1506 under Julius II, who also laid the first stone and was completed on 1615 under Paul V.
The Façade, designed by the architect Carlo Maderno, “Is 114.69 metres wide and 48 metres high, and has an order of Corinthian columns and pilasters, over which lies an imposing cornice with a central tympanum, crowned by a balustrade with thirteen statues (nearly 6 metres high).” There can be found an inscription on the entablature stating that the Façade was built under Pope Paul V Borghese. In the lower order there are five entrances to the atrium, over which are nine windows, three of which possessing a balcony. The main window, the “Benediction Loggia”, where the Pope gives his blessing upon his election, and at Christmas and Easter. When Maderno added the nave, which is the main body of the church, he transformed Michelangelo’s Greek-cross plan in one followed by early Medieval cathedrals. This plan was heavily criticized for ruining the effect of the dome which was designed by Michelangelo. Not only is the Façade criticized for ruining the effect of the dome, it is also criticized for being too rushed. The committee and the Pope rushed the plans of the Façade in order to speed up the completion o...


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...image because he lost a game of bowls. In the grottos there are also monuments for the Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. There are more than one hundred tombs in St Peter’s Basilica, the majority of which are to be found in the grottos.
All in all, St Peter’s Basilica is regarded as one of the largest basilicas in the world. Construction spanning one hundred and eight years, the final result is magnificent. Having had many different architects working on the project, changing after either the leading Pope would die or the architect, it is a wonder the plans for the basilica came together and that the building has lasted so long. The original basilica, built by Emperor Constantine in the fourth century is the foundation to this building. To those of the christian faith, this building is the epitome of belief. St Peter’s Basilica is from where the catholic faith starts.

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