Browse Items (8 total)

  • Collection: Evolution of St. Peter's Basilica

Three-Bay Nave

Barrel-vaulted with arches lead to a number of side chapels. The nave and vault are slightly wider and higher than the original arms. Arches and paired Corinthian pilasters line the nave and guide the visitor to St. Peter’s tomb in the center, under…

Old St. Peter's

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Built by Constantine the Great in 322 and completed in 337, the church is over 350 feet long, with a roof over 100 feet high at the center and a central nave flanked by two aisles on each side.

Bramante's Plan for St. Peter's Basilica

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Donato Bramante provided advice and forwarded plans to Pope Julius II regarding the new St. Peter's Basilica. It was decided that the entire basilica would be rebuilt on a Greek cross deisgn inscribed in a square and surmounted by a large dome,…

Piazza & Colonnade

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Piazza in front of St. Peter's Basilica: two arcades forming short ends of an elliptical shape created by the intersection of two circles, centered around the Vatican Obelisk.

Vatican Obelisk

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The movement of the ancient obelisk to in front of St. Peter's basilica was considered an engineering feat whose success helped the Church assert its superiority and glory in the face of the Reformation movement.

Antonio da Sangallo's plan

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Sangallo's plan presented a major cross and four lesser crosses, all surrounded by domes. His plan was a compromise between a Greek and a Latin cross. Three ends of the cross became apses. Bell towers at the ends of the facade rose to the same height…

Alberti's Plan

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Commissioned by Pope Nicholas V in 1450, Alberti’s plan was remake the city of Rome, with Saint Peter's at the center. With the nave left intact, the other three arms would be rebuilt, of equal lengths, and a dome would cover the crossing. Wanting to…