Posted by: vikingsinspace | September 26, 2011

I.4.09.10. Visit The Vatican

Date Accomplished: April 2003

St. Peter’s Basilica

Much like my trip to Rome (see I.4.09.02. Visit Rome), I remember little about what we saw in the Vatican.  Obviously the main attraction is tha Basilica of St. Peter which is the official seat of the Pope.  Our first attempt to visit the Vatican and the church was actually hampered by the Pope (John Paul II at this point) holding some ceremony out in the courtyard.  We came back the next day to actually enter the church and have a look around.

The Burial of St. Peter

St. Peter’s Basilica is huge and very ornate.  The decorations inside is almost overwhelming, but I recall being able to appreciate it better if I just looked at small sections at a time.  Underneath the church is the crypt which houses the bones of St. Peter – one of the twelve disciples who catholics consider to be the first Pope.  We managed to get down into the crypt to see the place where St. Peter’s remains are buried, and I got a rather poor photo with lots of glare of it.

Inside the Cathedral Dome

We also visited the vatican museum, but I can’t recall if it was the same day we went to the Basilica or if it was another day.  Two things I did clearly recall. Firstly, we got there before the museum opened, and the line to enter the museum stretched around the corner of the building (maybe two typical city blocks).  Secondly, we made the mistake of going straight to the Sistine Chapel.  We weren’t aware at the time (and maybe this has changed since 2003), but once we entered the chapel, would could not re-enter the museum.  So while the chapel was gorgeous (we couldn’t take pictures, unfortunately), I feel like I missed out on quite a bit in the Vatican Museum.

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