Attractions of the Vatican

Attractions of the Vatican

  The Vatican is essentially a grandiose architectural complex that combines fortifications, temples and palaces. The Vatican was erected almost on the site of the existence of the gardens of Emperor Nero and the ancient circus. For many centuries, the Vatican has been the world center of Catholicism and the world's largest collection of works of architecture and art.

Back in the Middle Ages, behind the massive ramparts on the hill, the city of Citta Leonini was born, years passed and gradually this town on the hill turned into a papal residence, created by its best masters of that time.

The main solemn entrance to the Vatican is the great St. Peter's Square, surrounded on all sides by columns, the author and creator of this square is the architect Bernini. The grandiose colonnade consists of Doric columns placed in four rows.

Above the columns are 140 statues of martyrs and saints of the church. Surrounded by two fountains, in the center of the square, there is an obelisk, its height is 35.5 m. Emperor Caligula once brought it from Egypt. At the very top of the obelisk, in a ball of gold, there is a frame with church valuables.

The colonnades point the way to the greatest temple of Catholicism in the world - St. Peter's Basilica. It was erected on the site of the ancient basilica of Emperor Constantine, the cathedral was rebuilt several times, such brilliant masters as Michelangelo, Raphael, Bramante supervised the construction work.

In this temple there is a papal altar with a large bronze canopy, many masterpieces and relics of fine arts are kept.

Directly under the temple there is a site where archaeological work is being carried out, the remains of a Roman cemetery were discovered there, where, according to legend, the Apostle Peter was buried. To the right of the altar, already behind the cathedral, are the "Sacred Grottoes", where most of the popes are buried.

Not far from the cathedral is the famous Sistine Chapel, its author is the architect Giovanni de Dolci. Near Rome are the cathedrals of San Paolo, San Giovani in Laterano, Santa Maria, they, as well as a number of individual palaces and villas, belong to the Vatican. In the outskirts of Rome is the castle of Castel Gandolfo, it is there that the summer residence of the pope is located, it also belongs to architectural masterpieces.

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