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TRMPPRfinal - ARCH 3214 Saint Peters of Rome Saint Peters...

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10/5/2009 ARCH 3214 Saint Peter’s of Rome Saint Peter’s is located within the Vatican City in Rome and is claimed to be one of the most magnificent churches ever to be built. Saint Peter’s was not only a famous place to stop during a pilgrimage, but also the burial site of many popes. The construction of Saint Peter’s began in 1546; however modifications to its original structure were made in throughout this time period up until 1606 as well. In order to acquire the label of one of the greatest buildings built in its time, Saint Peter’s boasts a pristine team of artists and architects that together created this masterpiece. Amongst this team of elite individuals are some familiar names such as: Bernini, Bramante, Della Porta, Maderno, Michelangelo, and Sangallo. This superior team of stylists created the incomparable and aesthetically pleasing design of Saint Peter’s of Rome; flaunting a structurally and functionally sound plan that has been borrowed and used in other buildings many times since its original production. Saint Peter’s Basilica has history that dates back to the crucifixion of Jesus claiming that Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples was named the head and first bishop of the Catholic Church in Rome. This passage towards righteousness is seen in the Gospel of Mathew when Jesus says, “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Wikipedia)”. The church that Emperor Constantine had built in a Latin cross form in 326 A.D. was known as Old Saint Peter’s. The Church was built within the Vatican City in the approximate and believed location of Peter’s burial site. After hundreds of years Old Saint Peter’s was in dire need of repairs. Consequently, Old Saint Peter’s was not exactly
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10/5/2009 ARCH 3214 repaired, but more or less completely reconstructed. The design of Bramante was selected and therefore changed the style of the Church from a Latin Cross to a Greek Cross with a dome inspired by that of the Pantheon and Florence Cathedral (West, 145). The difference of this enormous Greek Cross from the past plan of this building was that the arms of the cross were all equal in length and size. Part of the reason for the change to this larger shape was to fit the faithful as well as those who were marching across Europe on Christian Pilgrimages. The use of the Greek Cross and central plan provided the Church with enough space to fit about 250,000 people (Wikipedia). However, the central plan was later modified by the addition of an elongated nave for liturgical reasons which still provided a sufficient amount of space. The undulating curves of the windows, open colonnades and the massive dome were all characteristics of Italian Baroque architecture.
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