Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Basilica of St Paul outside the walls.

On Tuesday we went into Rome again to visit the basilica of St. Paul outside the walls. This magnificent church was begun in 386 but not finished until much later. This is a shot of the facade of the church with beautiful mosaics on the tympanum.

This is a picture of the beautiful Corinthian columns that line the side of the church. The columns enclose a beautiful garden that you pass through before you get to the entrance of the church.

A detailed shot of the mosaics, and the massive statue of St. Paul in the center of the garden.

Anthony and Jozef standing in the garden.

There is another massive statue of St. Paul in the portico.

Anthony and Jozef near the massive granite columns near the entrance to the church.

This is the interior of the church. Note the amazing coffered ceiling and the arch in the background. The mosaics on the arch date to the 13th century.
This is the site where it is believed St. Paul is buried. On December 6, 2006 archaelogists discovered a sarcophagus that they believe contains his relics, due to a marble placque bearing the words "Paul - Apostle and Martyr". However they are still deciding on how to exhume and open the sarcophagus.

This is a shot of the ceiling of one of the side chapels.

The baldacchino is a masive Gothic masterpiece built in 1285. The columns that support it are porphyry

This is a close-up of the mosaics on the triumphal arch. They are done in the Byzantine style, created by Venetian artists in 1220. Christ is flanked by the apostles Peter, Paul, Andrew and Luke.

This is one of two altars made of malachite and lapiz lazuli, both gifts of Tsar Nicholas I.

An interesting feature of this church is the windows which are not glass, but very thinly cut pieces of agate.


Charlotte said...

That is beautiful! Do you know who painted the mosaics?

Aunt Pat said...

The glorious experience such as this history and religion and skill and prayer all rolled in one. If I havent told you lately I am jealous

Bronwyn said...

Oh wow. You immediately had me captured at the mention of the discovery of a body. ;)

Aggie said...

When you see the ceilings and column details all for AMDG. and to think that now a day's people like it simple to not distract us in our worship. These people need to go see these beautiful churches. Are their new churches in Rome (Italy) that resemble our community centers/ multi purpose building that are now being built. Are most of the churches that you go to still actively being used or are they more of museums.