The Splendor and the Scandal

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The construction of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome took more than 100 years and was the grandest architectural undertaking of the High Renaissance. In Basilica, R.A. Scotti reveals the dark sides of St. Peter’s history, from jealous architects to ambitious popes and reluctant artists.

Basilica is available for purchase at


R.A. Scotti
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Comments [1]

Angela from Westchester

Just returned from Rome a week ago during my stay I visited St. Peters for the first time. I am Catholic but practicing less and less primarily due to the church's wealth and it's none dispersal of that wealth.

St. Peter's was a sight to behold but the more I walked around the more saddened I became. Its size and ornamentation was off putting particularly as the Colosseum was stripped of its marble/travertine and the bronze ceiling of the Pantheon melted to aid in the creation of the basilica. On the floor of St. Peter's there are markings indicating the size of other catholic churches/cathedrals this "ours is big than yours" attitude is totally unnecessary.

I don't expect historic buildings to remain untouched over the years but the destruction and over building of so many sites in Rome by the Catholic Church was disappointing to see. St. Peters was not required but I understand why it was built - wealth, power, and strength. Also, its erection was surely to try and make it the historical city’s main attraction. However, for me all the catholic sites were less brilliant than the outstanding but denuded Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon to name but a few.

Aug. 08 2007 11:11 AM

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