My Life - So Far

"Unbounded ambition makes an obscure existence simply impossible for me"
Lucien de Rubempré

Monday, February 20, 2006

Rome VI

At the evening of our second day we took the 110open sightseeing bus for well-invested 13 €. It was getting cool in the evening but the view was fantastic and compensated everything.

The Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano Possibly the largest church in Christianity, covers an area of 23000 m² and has a capacity of over 60,000 people.

The dome, or cupola, was designed by Michelangelo, who became chief architect in 1546. As built, the double dome is brick, 42.3 metres in interior diameter (almost as large as the Pantheon), rising to 120 metres above the floor. If you look down at the ground floor inside the church, the people seem to be as small as ants. It's absolutely stunning up there, as you also get spectacular view over Vatican City and Rome.

Directly to the east of the church is Piazza San Pietro, built between 1656 and 1667. In the center of the colonnade, which was designed by Bernini, is a 25.5 metres tall obelisk. The obelisk was moved to its present location in 1585 by order of Pope Sixtus V. The obelisk dates back to the 13th century BC in Egypt. Including the cross on top and the base the obelisk reaches 40 metres. On top of the obelisk there used to be a large bronze globe allegedly containing the ashes of Julius Caesar.

By the way: We almost had an audience with the Pope Benedict XVI together with hundreds of visitors. But we intended to see the large museums, so we decided not to take part of the audience. Besides we tried to talk to a member of the swiss gards but he was from the french part of Switzerland so it didn't work...


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