Rome - In The Footsteps of The Pilgrim

Visiting the Vatican just a few months after Jerusalem was such an awesome experience. While Jerusalem shall always be the spiritual center of Christianity which it shares with Judaism and Islam, the Vatican serves as the center of Roman Catholicism and contains the most beautiful churches and works of art in tribute to Christianity.

Thanks to our awesome tour guide, we were able to navigate around the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and Square with ease. In this album; however, there are no pictures of the Sistine Chapel due to its sensitivity to being photographed.

A lot of times, my cousins and I found ourselves making up our own Gregorian Chants as we were walking around the grounds.  The place is definitely conducive to coming up with “religious” sounding chants that don’t actually make sense.

If I have but one complaint about St. Peter’s is that though it is the most iconic church in Roman Catholicism, you hardly see anyone praying inside.  People are just too busy taking pictures and admiring the works of art, unlike Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher where people are openly weeping and praying out loud.

Vatican Museum Entrance

* The entrance to the Vatican Museum where thanks to our special passes, we were able to skip the main queue.

Sarcophagus of St. Helena

* People often make the mistake of thinking that the Vatican Museum only contains work of Christian origin; however, it is also full of Ancient Greek, Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian works of art! The purple sarcophagus towards the left is that of St. Helena, mother of Constantine and builder of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

Vatican Museum Sculptures

* Ancient statue of a woman with a dozen boobs, bringing the flavor of Amsterdam here in Vatican City.

Vatican Museum Sculptures

* The hall of sculptures full of works of art, stolen borrowed throughout the history of the church.

Vatican Museum Ceiling

* Intricately-decorated ceiling with artwork depicting scenes from the Bible.

Vatican Museum Sculptures

* A famous lead vocalist of some ancient band circa 350 A.D.

Vatican Museum

* The Hall of Tapestries, featuring scenes from Christ’s life as well as the History of the Church.

Vatican Museum Tapestry

* The eerie tapestry of Christ wherein his eyes follow you wherever you go due to some illusion.

Hall of Painted Maps

* The Hall of Painted Maps featuring the various cities in Italy (Milan, Florence, Venice, Rome, Papal States, Tuscany etc) looking how they did back in the dark ages.

Vatican Museum Sculptures

* Mysterious fish dude. Illuminatus!!!

Vatican Museum Ceiling

* Angels Vs. Demons, some Gregorian chanting fits the mood right upon viewing this.
Hallway to Sistine Chapel

* The hallway leading down to the very beautiful and no-camera-zoned,  Sistine Chapel.

Vatican City

* The path from the Vatican Museum towards St. Peter’s Basilica.

Vatican City

* A view of the Square. Check out the queue if you go in the Basilica via the Square and not the Museum!

St. Peter's Basilica

* St. Peter’s Basilica, definitely the grandest church in the world!

Michelangelo Pieta

* The original Pieta, by Michelangelo, found towards the back of the Church.

St. Peter's Basilica

* A front-to-back view of the Cathedral.

St. Peter's Basilica Altar

* The main altar, located directly above the bones of St. Peter, which I believe only the Pope can officiate mass in.

Crypt of St. Peter

* Burial place of St. Peter? Or hiding place of CERN’s Anti-matter device?

St. Peter's Basilica

* Dozens of confession boxes with no lines! Didn’t bother to check if there are actually priests in them.

St. Peter's Basilica

* Another altar to the right of the Basilica. Notice the lack of people sitting / kneeling / praying.

St. Peter's Basilica

* The statues are just HUGE and Impressive and there are dozens of them! Check this photo out for the scale.

St. Peter's Basilica

* Ahh the raised flag.. world-wide symbol for, "We are a group of tourists, please don’t mug us as we take photos."

St. Peter's Basilica

* Another view of the main altar with the visible dome.

St. Peter's Basilica

* Now THAT’S what I call a high ceiling!

Vatican City Steps

* Where’s a slinky when you need one?

Vatican City

* The parental units enjoying the perfect weather (sunny but cool).

Vatican City

* Scale of the pillars around St. Peter’s. Compare them to my folks on the lower right and the people at the back. They should come up with a name guide for all the saints on top!

Swiss Guard

* My only shot of a Swiss Guard.  I was looking all over the place for these guys!

Vatican City

* Must be quite a sight seeing this place during Good Friday / Christmas.

Papal Apartments

* The outside of the Papal Apartments, which for obvious reasons, we cannot enter.


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