Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Vatican

Once inside the Vatican you can suddenly see how impressive Rome was in ancient times. A lot of the marble came from other structures.  That said it's amazing to see and almost mind boggling.  This is a city within a city and is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world. 

We spent all of our time in St. Peters square.  We could have done more but we would have to leave the tour and we were at the other end of the city from our hotel.  In hindsight - we should have left the tour and explored this area more and I was willing but my son wasn't interested as there was more he wanted to see. 

 We aren't Catholic so for some reason my son (who I might add went to a Catholic high school) felt superstitious about going inside.  He wouldn't elaborate.  Some deep dark secret there me thinks. 
The pope wasn't there - I believe he was returning from state visit - but these are the only evidence I found of the infamous Swiss Guards - keeping people away from the Pope's residence.

The current pope's residence.  He's infamously chosen not to live in the Papal palace.

In between the columns

The obelisk brought back from Egypt by Caligula and it's here Saint Peter (one of the original disciples of Jesus) was crucified upside-down by Nero - Christians were blamed by Nero for the great fire of Rome. 

The Papal palace is above and the pope (when in town) addresses the faithful from the second window from the right.

Surrounding streets

Apostles looking down upon me. 

The triangular shaped building behind the basilica façade is the building where the infamous smoke stack stands that all cameras are focused on when their deciding on a new pope.

The dome - amazing inside - the are lots of images online.

The pope addresses the crowds at Easter from this balcony

My fear of heights would never get me up there even with the high wire fences.  It's an amazing view though.
Next up... The final stop on the tour and the Spanish Steps...

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