The entire interior of St. Peter's is lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture and gilding. The Basilica contains a large number of tombs of Popes and other notable people, many of which are considered outstanding artworks. There are also a number of sculptures in niches of the chapel including Michelangelo’s Pieta. The dome is the most outstanding feature of the Basilica. Not only is the art inside the Basilica overwhelming, but also the pure size and grandeur is tremendous. The beauty is indescribable. No photograph can ever capture it; you have to be there to experience it and believe it. It is the perfect blend of art and religion. Even though I am a staunch atheist, I felt a certain spirituality in the air. There was reverence in the eyes of the believers. There was devotion for Christ and there was admiration for the art and architecture. It was like two worlds were coalescing.
This church is considered as the center of Christianity and there is a reason for this. This was the place where Saint Peter, the chief apostle and the first pope, died a martyr and was buried in 64 AD. So it made perfect sense to build the principal shrine of the Catholic church here. The building and its architecture is truly impressive and its opulent interiors are true testimony to the kind of wealth Catholic Church possessed in 16th and 17th Century. One thing that just cannot go unnoticed is 26 meters high bronze ‘Baldachin’ right under the dome. The dome has an impressive colorful vaulting with sixteen ribs supporting four massive pillars and the triangular spaces where the pillars meet the dome, decorated with mosaics. You must have visited many churches, cathedrals, basilicas before but nothing really comes close to St. Peter’s Basilica. The art on ceiling, sculptures, altar, prayer halls, mosaic floor, decorations…everything is so marvelous and everything has history to it. There are 5 entrances that lead to 85 mts long Nave of the Basilica. Once inside the nave the enormous size of the church becomes apparent. Right in front of Papal Altar is the Confessio , the presumed grave of St. Peter. Remember the scene from Angels and Demons where McKenna (the villain) flees to a remote recess in the building where he sets himself on fire and commits suicide …well this is that place. Right below the Apse of Basilica (where the clergy are seated) the supposed chair of St. Peter called Cathedra Petri is placed. Apse is decorated with baroque work.
St. Peter's Basilica: Its roots began with the first Christian emperor, Constantine, in A.D. 324. By 1400, the Roman basilica was in danger of collapsing, prompting the Renaissance popes to commission plans for the largest, most impressive, most jaw-dropping cathedral the world had ever seen. Amid the rich decor of gilt, marble, and mosaics are countless artworks, including Michelangelo's Pietà.
If there had to be one example to sum up the fury of artistic spirit during the Renaissance it would definitely be the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. This is the largest church ever built in Rome and is built on the crucifiction spot of the first Pope St. Peter. A lot of famous minds worked on this masterpiece namely, Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael, Bramante, and Peruzzietc. Built in style with Renaissance as well as Baroque architecture, this church was built during the peak of the Renaissance in Italy. Since it is one of the holiest places for Christians all over the world, this place is flocked with devout Christians and inspired travelers soaking the wonder of art. Basilica is not to be missed, it is one of the greatest buildings of its time!