Roman Architecture Designs

November 19, 2013
Gallery of Surprising Ancient

Structure and Dimensions

Built out of travertine stone, Saint Peter's is 452 feet high, 730 feet in length, and 500 feet in width, with an interior length of just over 693 feet (roughly 211 metres). Covering an area of 2.3 hectares (5.7 acres or about 50, 000 square feet), and large enough for 60, 000 people, it used to be the largest Christian church in the world, but in 1989 it was exceeded in size by the church in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire.

Interior Decoration: Nave, Chapels, Sculpture

Pilgrims entering the basilica are monitored by church officials and members of The Swiss Guard. Inside, the basilica is cruciform in shape, with an elongated nave in the form of a Latin cross. The nave is framed by wide aisles giving access to a number of chapels. These include: the Chapel of the Presentation of the Virgin, the Clementine Chapel, the Chapel of the Madonna of Colonna, the Gregorian Chapel, the Chapel of the Pieta and several other altars. In addition, beneath the high altar, is the Chapel of the Confession.

The interior of Saint Peter's contains a number of priceless treasures in marble and bronze by the greatest Renaissance sculptors - works such as (1500) by Michelangelo - as well as Baroque sculpture - such as the baldachin or ceremonial canopy over the main altar, and the traditional Chair of St Peter (Cathedra Petri), both designed by Bernini - and Neoclassical sculpture (such as the marble statue of Pope Pius VI) by Europe's greatest neoclassical sculptors like the Italian genius Antonio Canova (1757-1822). It also contains numerous papal tombs ornamented with marble statues and reliefs - such as the Tomb of Pope Leo XI (1634-44) by Alessandro Algardi (1598-1654) - as well as mosaics and precious metalwork. Ironically, the huge and aggressive fund-raising campaign required to pay for the cost of the basilica and its contents (46 million ducats), led to protest across Europe and became...

Source: www.visual-arts-cork.com
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