|Little carriers ranging from fancy to simple. I think the poles|
on the back wall were the 'handles' for lifting.
|The most elaborate of the carriages|
|A pope was shot in a vehicle like this, except totally open. After|
that, the trucks with the elevated throne to improve the view
all had bulletproof glass.
|Looking over the plaza to the Basilica and garden|
|When I first saw this, I thought it was a solid|
sphere with a reflection.
|Once we walked toward it I could see it was |
much more complex. Guides are allowed to
cross the protective chain to demonstrate
how it spins on its axis.
|This pine cone, a symbol of life, used to be a |
fountain somewhere. If you look closely at the
bottom of the metal, the dark spots are spouts.
|There was quite a bit of Egyptian art, including this lion.|
|Statue of the death of Laocoon and his two sons in Troy. He|
was a priest who warned against accepting the wooden horse.
|This lion was in one of the animal rooms|
|Mosaic floor. I am thinking of seeing if I can translate the |
geometric border into stained glass.,
|A huge granite basin, brought from Egypt in one piece.|
|More from Egypt|
|An elaborate sarcophogus|
|I am sure we saw this on another trip somewhere:|
|Detail of one of the many tapestries|
|In person, this ceiling looks like each section|
is sculpted, but it is really just painted to look
|One of the most vivid tapestries|
|The ceiling of the map room was fabulous too.|
|This map of Sardinia is oriented with south at the top.|
|Rome. North is at the left. The Tiber runs left|
to right in the bottom half. The Vatican is below
the river and the area where we stayed (Trestevere --
across the Tiber) is where the river curves down
on the right side of the city.
|Map of Umbria -- reversed -- the west is on the right.|
From there, we went downstairs and into the Basilica, where the altar is located over St. Peter's grave which has sort of been substantiated. The scale is amazing. Michela said the letters at the altar end of the church are each 6 feet tall, though they don't look it. A metal canopy over the altar is 100 feet tall!
This is also where Michelangelo's Pieta is on display, behind a glass wall, necessitated when a man attached the statue with a hammer. Michelangelo completed this amazing work in only 2 years, when he was 24. He was also the last architect of this Basilica, which took 120 years to build and went through several design changes.
|Looking out toward th e square from Basilica steps. The metal|
things are speakers
|The balcony where the Pope appears to give|
|Massive entry doors|
|Detail from lower right door panel showing St Peter's|
crucifixion. He is on the cross head down at his own request
to avoid comparison to Jesus.
|Inside St. Peter's Basilica|
|The Pieta, the only one of his works Michelangelo signed, |
etching his name is a fold of Mary's clothing.
|Tomb of John Paul II, one of only two popes in the main body|
of the church.
|These letter are 6 feet tall -- look at the size of|
the people above
|100 foot tall bronze canopy over the altar|
|The other pope interred in the main body of the church.|
|Swiss Guards in their winter uniforms|
|The colonnade surrounding St. Peter's Square|
After the tour, we met up with Lodo and Selena and had a wonderful late lunch. Then we took off for our last sight-seeing run. visiting the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain before hiking home. Getting to the fountain around 5 pm was seriously bad timing as the place was a total mob scene. We got a couple photos and headed for the hotel.
|On the way to the Pantheon, we passed this fortress, used by|
popes when the Vatican was threatened.
|Outside of the Pantheon, a former Roman Temple probably|
completed about 125 A.D., now a church (since the 7th century)
|Inside of the Pantheon|
|Trevi fountain and the mob of visitors|