"Ogni goccia d'acqua". Discover Acea's campaign!
- Serving people
- Electricity distribution and lighting systems
- Lighting up the beauty of Rome
- Saint Peter's Basilica
Saint Peter's Basilica, located in the Vatican, Rome, - hence the name of Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, - is the most iconic place of the Christian world, as well as the largest basilica in the world.
The majestic structure, recognizable from any part of the city by its huge dome, houses priceless works of art by Michelangelo, Pietro da Cortona and many others, starting from the square with Bernini's elegant colonnade.
Built to house the tomb of Saint Peter, one of the Apostles of Jesus, it was erected in the 4th century AD as the main sanctuary of the Catholic Church. Later enlarged and renovated over the centuries, the Basilica every day hosts visitors fascinated by its beauty and the many masterpieces contained inside.
The Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, commissioned by Constantine in 326 A.D., was completely rebuilt 1,200 years later, under Pope Julius II beginning in 1506. The boundless ambition of Pope Julius II gave rise to the realization of one of the most impressive and renowned churches in the world, which was finished only 120 years later, in 1626.
Julius II commissioned Bramante to demolish the old Constantinian structure in order to build a new one; this project earned him the name of “maestro ruinante” (ruining master). The great architect planned a church in the shape of a Greek cross with a gigantic dome. Following his death, the project was continued and modified by the best masters of the time. Michelangelo conceived the dome while Bernini both the façade and the colonnade.
Here are listed the architects who guided the building of Saint Peter's Basilica
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
Giacomo Della Porta
An enormous structure in the shape of a Latin cross, with an impressive dome in the centre, three naves covered by great round arches, make the Basilica a magnificent space.
Once through the entrance door of the Basilica, the vastness of the architecture is not immediately apparent, also due to a careful use of proportion and the rich marble decorations added to the wall structure. Not everyone knows that much of the marble used was taken from the Colosseum.
The central nave houses the statue of the patron saint of Rome, blessing thousands of believers who bow to kiss his now-worn right foot.
The immense dome of the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, a masterpiece by Michelangelo, dominates the Confession which houses the Tomb of Saint Peter and the Papal Altar, towered over by the famous bronze Baldachin, an early work by Bernini, executed between 1624 and 1632. By order of Pope Urban VIII Barberini, some of the bronze elements decorating the ceiling of the Pantheon’s pronaos were used for its casting, hence the famous saying Quod non fecerunt barbari fecerunt Barberini (what the barbarinas did not do, the Barberinis did).
The Basilica houses some of the most important masterpieces in art history, starting from the statue of the Pietà, located in the right-side nave, executed by Michelangelo in his early twenties. Today, the work is protected by a thick crystal because about 50 years ago, on 21 May 1972, a man entered the Basilica and hammered the face of the Madonna, which has now been restored.
Inaugurated in 1964, the Door of Death was executed by Giacomo Manzoni, also known as Manzù, who took almost 20 years to realize a masterpiece merging the lay spirit with the religiosity of its scenes, depicted with humane simplicity. This impressive work of more than 20,000 pounds, seven and a half meters high and 4 meters wide, represents the threshold between life and death, and is opened for the passage of coffins of popes during funeral ceremonies.
Among the most fascinating curiosities are surely its optical illusions, first and foremost those of the square's colonnade. The 284 columns were positioned by Bernini in order to generate perspective effects. If you move within them, columns seem to get closer and far apart; while if you stand in the centre, they all disappear behind one column. On the other hand, if you look towards the façade, columns appear of different colours, as another perspective effect is generated by the way light beats on the convex columns.
Another striking effect occurs if observed from Via Piccolomini: as you get closer to the dome, it seems small and smaller, thus deceiving those watching it from a distance.
Acea has long been committed to artistic lighting. This is why it is able to identify the best solutions to enhance monuments in Rome, remaining faithful to its sustainable approach. In the case of Saint Peter's Basilica, all light points are equipped with tools which allow to vary light diffusion depending on darkness conditions or specific occasions. For example, in case of large crowds, the overall lighting of urban and architectural spaces can be increased, with significant effects on night visibility and security.
«During the opening of the Holy Door on 7 December 2015, Saint Peter's Square and via della Conciliazione - meeting point of thousands of believers from all over the world, - were illuminated with more than 100 LED lamps resulting in 60% of energy saving.»
Discover the latest news and initiatives of the Acea Group