Cathedrals Of Vatican City You Will Be Amazed To See
When it comes to cathedrals, then Italy has to be one of the countries in the world that firstly, boasts the most and secondly, it also has to have some of the most magnificent examples of cathedrals and basilicas that anyone could ever hope to see. Vatican City which today is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, is the world’s smallest sovereign state and this magnificent domain sits proudly overlooking the city of Rome and its glorious River Tiber.
Vatican City is the centre of the world’s Catholic faith and for centuries has ruled the billions of devout believers who can be found in every far corner of the planet. It is one of the most visited holy sites in the whole of Italy, with millions of visitors descending on this unique area to wonder and marvel at its sheer splendour and magnificence. The architecture and buildings that make up this devoutly religious independent state are truly spectacular both looking at them from the outside as well as inside their immensely decorated interiors that appear to go on forever.
Everybody who arrives in Rome automatically has to arrange a visit to this amazing location, and it is usually the number one place to tour around on their agenda. To not go to Vatican City and visit the cathedrals as well as the Sistine Chapel and all the splendid museums would be sacrilege to say the least. The immense power of the place is awe inspiring with each and every edifice being molded to perfection both inside and out. The most talented of painters, sculptors and other artisans have all left their signatures on parts of the buildings which are cultural and historical legacies the whole world can enjoy and marvel at.
St Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s Basilica which is called the Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano in Italian, is one of the largest late Renaissance churches found within Vatican City and although it is not strictly speaking considered as a cathedral, it is nonetheless one of the holiest Catholic sites on earth. The basilica boasts one of the biggest interiors of any church on the entire planet. It is truly an amazing place with its main dome dominating the skyline in a way that can only be seen to be believed.
The sheer size of the interior and the splendid decoration of the doorways, the walls as well as the massively high ceilings and columns, leaves you feeling very small indeed. It is here that St Peter is buried and many successive Popes are laid to rest in this holiest of holy sites. Artists namely Michael Angelo sculpted the amazing statue of the Pieta which is housed within the basilica. To visit this basilica, you really need to take your time as there is just so much to see and take in and this just cannot be done in a rush.
The entire area of Vatican City is just incredible, this includes the gardens and St Pietro Square as well as the many museums which house some of the greatest art treasures in the world. The gardens date back to medieval times and actually take up more than half of the entire area which covers over 44 hectares in total. The pure splendour of the garden with its trees, orchards and immaculately kept lawns, offer a place of tranquility and solace that is both mystical and peaceful at the same time.
Taking a tour around Vatican City and the wonderful basilicas, means spending more than just a few hours amidst some of the most treasured artworks ever created by the best artists of the day, as it takes a bit of planning because there is just so much to see here. Each beautiful part of the basilica makes you stop and wander at the immenseness of it all.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting this amazing place and I found that the best way of doing it was with an organized tour, as not only did I avoid many of the cues but I also got to see a lot more of what I really wanted to see, which were the works of art by Michael Angelo and Bernini not forgetting the incredible monument to the Stuarts by Canova.
I had at first thought that taking a guided tour may mean being rushed through and past all of the wondrous things that you can see here, but in actual fact this was not the case at all. I felt we were given plenty of time to really appreciate all the superb things we were shown, so all in all, it was a really pleasant experience that I felt was definitely worth paying for. If you are visiting the Vatican City on a tight budget then this is not always possible to organize, so my advice to you is to plan your time well when you are there, or you might find you are overwhelmed by the whole experience, which might spoil it a little and this would be a real shame and worse, you might miss some of the treasures that are on display.
Whether it is the superb artworks or the splendid architecture that really interests you the most, you cannot help but be inspired by the whole experience of visiting this amazing basilica. From the moment you arrive and see the Swiss Guards to the immense square in front of St Peters Basilica, you start to realize the enormity of the whole place and just how important it is to the Catholic world today – just as it was throughout the centuries. The pomp and glory of this basilica may take your breath away and the works of art that are housed in the interior are bound to impress you as no others will ever do. This is because the setting is just so exquisite and so very grand. From the immaculate flooring right up to the fantastical ceilings that depict the holiest events in the bible. Visiting the basilicas of Vatican City made me feel very humble and it was an experience that marked me forever as one the deepest ones I have ever felt to this day.