A spiritual and artistic quest
Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
19Trip End Sep 27, 2011
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What I did
Tour the Vatican
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 of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Image © Google Earth.
See all 217 photos of this church in our San Paolo Photo Gallery.
Quadriportico, with a striking statue of St. Paul holding his sword.
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.