One of the two granite fountains at the Piazza - one constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches the other by Carlo Maderno in 1613.
The Colonnade of St. Peter's Square.
Statue of St. Paul, on the right side in front of the portico of St. Peter's Basilica.
Getting ready for the Wednesday mass by the Pope.
The entrance to the Vatican Museums
The central courtyard with the sphere.
The bronze pine cone in the central courtyard before you enter the museums.
Museo Chiaramonti founded by Pope Pius VII Chiaramonti contains about 1000 Roman Sculptures.
Gilded bronze statue of Hercules from the Theater of Pompey.
When you are mesmerised by the art and sculpture do not forget the ceilings. The ceiling of the upholstery room.
Laocoon & his Sons
The statue of Laocoon and his Sons is one of the most famous ancient sculptures ever since it was excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed on public display in the Vatican. The figures are near life-size showing the Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents.
The Belevedere Apollo
The statue of Apollo is said to represent the "highest ideal of Art", also called the Pythian Apollo as it depicts the God Apollo has just loosed an arrow at his enemy, the Python of Delphi. The statue was found in 1489 and is said to be a marble copy of a bronze original by Leochares, 350-325 BC.
The dome was designed by Michelangelo, who worked on the construction of the basilica beginning in 1547. By the end of his long life (he died at 89 in 1564), construction had reached the drum of the dome, which alternates highly prominent double columns with gabled windows. Then, Giacomo Della Porta, Michelangelo’s pupil, took over the direction of the work, raising the vault of the dome about 7 metres and completing it in 1590, in just 22 months, under the pontificate of Pope Sixtus V.
The dome has a double calotte, with an inner diameter of 42.56 metres and it measures 136.57 metres from the base to the top of the cross. The lantern is 17 metres high.
Remember the story from the beginning of the blog - the present alter and the massive dome of the St. Peter's Basilica marks the exact spot where St. Peter was buried.