St. Peter’s Basilica

Today was the big enchilada: St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. Both are gigantic in scope and some of the most heavily visited places in the world. We got out fairly early and got to St. Peter’s a little after it opened and already the line was 250 meters long. Fortunately it moved really fast and in a surprisingly short amount of time we were through security and ushered into the church.

A note to future visitors: Those signs about dress code? They mean it. A lady was denied admittance right in front of us because her skirt was too short.

St. Peter’s is not designed to impress, it is designed to overawe. The place is gigantic and imbued with the wealth, power, and majesty of hundreds of years of church effort. Although the theme is the hereafter it is very apparent that the here and now reality of papal influence has shaped what you see. That is very obvious when you compare the tombs of the Popes.

We all were very impressed with the Basilica and ranked it as one of the highlights of the trip.

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58 thoughts on “St. Peter’s Basilica

  1. You are living my dream!! I’m glad the trip is going so well your “angel rays” photo is awesome, hard to take a bad photo there, huh! Love to you all and safe trip home. Love you, K

  2. I loved this place when I visited. It touched my soul. Thanks for posting this – it brought back great memories of my backpacking days and I long to return…

  3. I was there fairly recently…it was gorgeous. I really hope you got the chance to visit everything else in the area (Nero’s palace was amazing). Beautiful pictures!

  4. I happened upon your post and had flashbacks to our trip there a few years ago. Amazing and awe inspiring for certain. Lovely pictures.

  5. Wow…what an unbelievably beautiful place to visit! Lucky you! Your first photo is absolutely stunning!

    Have fun on the rest of your travels while thinking of those of us (like me) who are incredibly jealous! 😉

    Congrats on being FP!

  6. That third one up from the bottom is amazing. What a change from the stodgy architecture of the times before that with churches that look like grain elevators, to make it look like heaven is practically breaking through the side of the building. That must have been incredibly daring for the time. It’s more creative that what you’d find in most buildings nowdays.

  7. I visited Rome some 10 years ago- and The Vatican left a lasting impression on me. Did you have a chance to visit the museum? I’ve heard it would take some 20 years to fgo through all of it- (if looked at each object) one afternoon spent there was just not enough! :o)

  8. The view from the top of St. Peter’s Basilica is my favorite view in the whole world. I’m not Catholic, but when the sunlight is streaming through the windows and the choir is singing, I feel an overwhelming spiritual presence in that place.

  9. Wow! Traveling to world is on my bucket list. I am a British citizen, but I do not live there, and I cannot wait to travel Europe.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  10. Perfect timing for this to pop up on Freshly Pressed; I’m off to Rome imminently myself and haven’t been for many, many so fully intending doing all the touristy things again with fresh eyes!

    Your holiday pics are whetting my appetite for the trip. Hope the weather holds up as well as it clearly did for yours!

  11. I been there several times. But in the Vatikan I always feel sad thinking of the many poor people who had made this enorm richness together whit treats of the hell and all that stoff.I am an ateist but i know my bible and it says that Gods chosen people in world should be the poor and the weak. –Give away all that you own to the poor and follow me, Jesus told the rich boy who sadly turned home again.
    But as a museum of art the church is a treasure.

    • Yeah … it’s so beautiful, but it’s just off-kilter for it to be all in service of a deity who said that it’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich guy to get on his good side.

    • I went to St Peter’s Basilica when I was 12. It was so cold that I didn’t enjoy it one bit.
      Though, last year I went again, and it was full. It was a warm spirng night and I was ever so impressed that I skipped going to the Colossium the next day because I wanted to go inside the Basilica again with my friends since the day before it was so packed we just stood staring at its exterior for three hours.

  12. For those who are going to Rome and don’t want to get up too early so they can get in quickly (and the line gets very very long) you can buy tickets online that let you skip the line. I think it’s 4 euros more, but if the choice is 4 euros or 3 hours holding up the wall, I choose the euros. Google “advance tickets vatican” or some such, and it should show up. I’ve heard of people having trouble with the website, but I had no trouble. You’ll need access to a printer so you can print the tickets. You can also buy them far in advance, although I bought mine on the day of my visit, no problem.

  13. The pics look great! You are lucky to have entered…I was in Vatican City in January 2009, but the line was too long to make it through. If you haven’t already, visit Il Vittoriano – the rooftop view of Rome is unbelievable.

  14. @annonickus – Sorry, I forgot the how. All photos were taken with a handheld digital rebel in auto mode with the flash turned off. I think the big factor is the lens that was used. On this trip we exclusively used a Canon EF 28-135mm lens with Image Stabilization enabled.

  15. Great! Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

    I really like the dress code. I wish they required longer skirts in our church – I would like my teenager son to be focused on different things during the service 🙂

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  17. Beautiful pictures — takes me back to my last trip there two years ago. I love the architecture of the Basilica and words cannot express the grandeur. We were fortunate enough to attend one of the open air masses during the month we visited and to see the entire Vatican courtyard flooded with people is amazing. Thank you for posting!

  18. That third one up from the bottom is amazing. What a change from the stodgy architecture of the times before that with churches that look like grain elevators, to make it look like heaven is practically breaking through the side of the building. That must have been incredibly daring for the time. It’s more creative that what you’d find in most buildings nowdays.

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