A so-called “god beam” illuminates the vaulted ceiling of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican City, in Rome.
(Click on the photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)
St. Peter’s Basilica is the heart of global Catholicism and the main house of worship for the Catholic Church in the Vatican City, the tiny but influential nation-state located in beautiful Rome.
I took this shot in 2006. I had a basic point and shoot camera. The lighting as magical inside the massive building, which was designed by Italian architect Donato Bramante, in the early 1500s.
I first remember seeing a painting of the interior of the cavernous and enormous basilica at the St. Louis Art Museum as a kid. That painting, Interior of St. Peter’s, Rome, by Paul Panini Romae from 1731, was on my mind as I wandered in the sanctuary, with thousands of other visitors on a hot October day.
One of the lessons I took away from visiting St. Peter’s and the Vatican City was a simple one. Never underestimate the power of the Catholic Church.
Rome has been on my mind lately. So I dug up some of my old shots from my only trip there in 2006. It was perfect, in every sense. Even the horrible trip coming back to the United States, getting stuck in Paris, getting harassed by French security officials, train stoppages and bus mishaps–it all faded in the dazzling memories Rome left behind. Here are tourists in Rome, quite of few of them in nuns’ habits. They were having a grand time too. (Click on each photograph to see a larger picture in a separate picture page.)