A spiritual and artistic quest

Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
Trip End Sep 27, 2011

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What I did
Tour the Vatican

Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Sunday, September 18, 2011

Up early and a fabulous breakfast in the courtyard which unfortunately had a few pesty hornets or yellow jackets or whatever they are called.  The servers were putting out traps with sugar water in them and apologizing, but the smell of bacon was attracting them.  None the less it was a great breakfast and wonderful atmosphere.  They gave each table a full thermos of coffee and hot milk so one did not have to wait even for the coffee service.   

 Because today is Sunday and St. Peter's is extremely busy, we decided to do a City Tour as well as St. Paul's Bacillica and the Chiesa Il Gesł  or St. Ignatius Church which is a 16th-century late Renaissance church in Rome  It  is the mother church of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.  Originally very austere, Il Gesł's interior was opulently decorated starting in the 17th century. Now its frescoes, sculptures and shrines make it one of the foremost examples of Roman Baroque art.  For more information click here  In fact it was one of my personal favorites

The City tour included the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Capito Hill with its wonderful views of the Roman Forum, and a couple of other viewpoints, plus several squares.  The hilltop views really show the number of churches in Rome, there seems to be one every few blocks, and those are only large ones that have Domes.   St. Paul's Bascilica is not as ornate as some, but still leave me in wonder.    A Basilica is different from a church in the structure and size,  although it can also serve as a church, it is much larger and built with double colonnades and a semicircular apse.    In Roman times they could be used as Courts of Law.  For more information on St. Paul's click here or here and see info below.  Slideshow follows and there are several videos of the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and looking down on Rome from the hillside.

Aerial View
Aerial view of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Image © Google Earth.
See all 217 photos of this church in our San Paolo Photo Gallery.

St. Paul outside the Walls, Rome
Quadriportico, with a striking statue of St. Paul holding his sword.

Nave of San Paolo
The huge central nave, looking towards the apse.

Nave looking the other way, towards the doors to the quadriportico..

Ceiling of the nave.

Right transept, with doors leading to chapels and the cloisters.

St. Paul's Basilica

 After his execution and burial in Rome in the 1st century AD, Saint Paul's followers erected a shrine (cella memoriae) over the grave. Early Christians frequently visited the site to honor the great Apostle to the Gentiles and author of more than half of the New Testament.
The first church on the site was a small one, founded by Emperor Constantineand consecrated on November 18, 324.In 386 Emperor Theodosius demolished the original church and began the construction of a much larger basilica. According to the inscription on the triumphal arch, it was consecrated in 390 by Siricius, and completed in 395 under Emperor Honorius. Although heavily restored, the present basilica looks much the same as it did in the 4th century.There were additions and further destruction and rebuilding over time.  In 1823 a great fire, started through the negligence of a workman who was repairing the lead of the roof, resulted in the destruction of the basilica. Alone of all the churches of Rome, it had preserved its primitive character for 1,435 years.The whole world contributed to its restoration. The Viceroy of Egypt sent pillars of alabaster, the Emperor of Russia the precious malachite and lapis lazuli of the tabernacle.The work on the principal facade, looking toward the Tiber, was completed by the Italian government, which declared the church a national monument.  

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