Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Bernini commissioned to build the huge piazza

St Peters Cathedral 24
St Peters Cathedral 24, originally uploaded by mharrsch.
In 1655, Pope Alexander VII commissioned Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini to design a monumental square in front of the recently completed St. Peter's basilica.

"The immense piazza is bounded by two semicircular colonnades, each of which is made up of four rows of Doric columns. In the centre of the piazza is an obelisk brought to Rome by Caligula from Heliopolis in ancient Egypt." - Lonely Planet

The obelisk had served as a turning post in the chariot races at the nearby ancient Circus of Nero, where St. Peter was crucified.

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