Kentucky Family Captures 20 Beautiful Photos of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome
I have been in churches in many parts of the world. Though I'm not a religious man, I have always been fascinated by their grandeur, their glory and their narratives. I have to tell you. I have seen massive, gorgeous churches, but, until last week, I have NEVER seen anything like this.
We spent ten days over Christmas and New Year's in and out of Rome and we had the chance to visit St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. It absolutely blew me away. Even from the outside, it's quite easy to see why this is the "richest" church in the world.
The outside is incredible on its own, really.
I love this photo.
And, before I take you inside, here are a few shots of Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter's. We decided to spend Christmas Eve with the Pope and the pageantry and beauty were simply off the charts. The crowd was massive inside the basilica and out.
There are nativity scenes all over Italy during Christmas. But none were as exquisitely- crafted as the one in Vatican City.
And the Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square was exceptional as well. The lights were fully choreographed.
And, here's some footage I took of the actual service. Obviously, I wanted to respect the occasion and did. But, I also knew I had friends back at home who would want to share in the beauty and the moment.
We didn't go inside the Basilica that evening. The process of securing "inside" tickets for Christmas Eve mass is a bit of a crap shoot. But we did go back a few days later to experience it. I am certainly glad we did. It's breathtaking.
Honestly I think my favorite feature of the church (and, trust me, there are MANY focal points) is the altar. This is one of my favorite photos I took during our trip- of anything, anywhere.
The altar (designed by Bernini) is so detailed and massive that it looks a bit like a Transformer that towers over the proceedings. It is a site to behold, for sure.
Nothing in this church is subtle and no expense was spared, which, I’ll confess, bothers me more than it impresses me. But there's no denying the majesty.
That is another Bernini creation. But, to me, it looks like something right out of Middle Earth.
It’s like the Eye of Sauron.
It is hypnotic and it’s nearly impossible to look away- even when some random kid decides to start playing Hide and Seek with his mom and runs full speed into a confessional. Yes, that happened. Then he ran out onto the marble floor, pointed to his mom and laughed hysterically. It was the perfect moment of irreverence in a sea of reverence and prayer.
On that note, it was fascinating to watch the differences in how people responded to what they were witnessing.
As for me, I did my best to truly capture what I was witnessing. Here are some more photos. The beauty/vastness of St. Peter's Basilica will speak it for itself as you scroll through them. The statuary is just magnificent.
There is infinite history in this church and there’s no way I would have time to describe the grandeur and significance of each part I photographed. So, do what we did. Just gaze. In complete disbelief.