Thursday, March 5, 2009

St. Peter's Basilica

It sounds trite, but you really can't capture this place's opulence on camera. It's like photographing the Grand Canyon then wondering why the pictures don't do it justice.

There are many of these throughout the basilica and I didn't realize they weren't paintings until Csilla pointed out the tiles. Except for one, they are all mosaics of the original paintings. Amazing.

A holy water basin.
The holy water concept grosses me out. I tried to no avail to capture video of people dipping their unwashed hands into the shallow water then crossing themselves with it. Naaaasty. Maybe the priest's blessing kills 99.9% of germs. Kinda like Purell. One can hope.
Csilla was so impressed with the trompe l'oeile (tricking the eye, translated) paintings. They look 3 dimensional. They are nice, but I still think her chili peppers are just as nice.

Statue of St. Peter

Line to kiss and touch his feetHe's been shown the love over the years! Look how worn down his toes are.

The block of wood below the cross is supposed to be a piece of the "True Cross." I tried to capture video of people kissing it and crossing themselves to no avail.

Bronze canopy reserved for the Pope.


List of all deceased popes.From Peter...

To John Paul II

It's hard to see from the picture, but they are cleaning some of the sculptures.


The Cupola

A rotting pope disguised by a beautiful mosaic.

Huge, gorgeous, amazing. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Hitler's pope. Pius the XII.

Another rotting pope lies beneath his bronze statue.

Michelangelo's Pietà. Completed when he was only 25 years old. It resides behind bullet proof glass so it's impossible to get a decent photo. The detail is breathtaking and it was much glossier than I expected.

Doors to the entrance from the square.

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