St peter basilica final essay


Published on

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

St peter basilica final essay

  1. 1. [ARC 1313] Architecture Culture & History 1 PRECEDENT STUDY NAME OF BUILDING: St. Peter Basilica LECTURER: Mr. Sarly Adre Sarkum STUDENTS’ NAME STUDENT ID Charlene Chan Huishan 0308518 Helsa Josephine 0305813 Lim Shu Yin 0307795 Nicole Lim Xu Teng 0307814 WORD COUNT: __________________________
  2. 2. Baroque Period is an era in the history of the Western arts that roughly coinciding in the 17th century. It occurred after the Renaissance Period. In the 1600’s, Renaissance architects started to experiment with bold curves, unsymmetrical building lines and ornate decorations instead of symmetrical lines. One of the most famous building from Baroque Period is St. Peter’s Basilica, the biggest; with a total area of 44000 square meter, with 219 meter of the basilica itself. (Dupre’, J., 2001, p.65) The facade is about the size of a soccer field with a width of 114 meters and a height of 46 meters, being one of the most beautiful churches ever built. Many mistakenly categorize this building as Renaissance Architecture. This is due to the duration of the construction of the building and the renaissance architects involved. Nevertheless, St. Peter’s Basilica is renowned as a Baroque style building. St. Peter’s Basilica is located in Vatican City, Italy. It is also known as the second St. Peter’s Basilica as it was built replacing the old building that was constructed during the Roman Empire under Emperor Constantinople. From historical evidences, it is believed that the location of Saint Peter’s tomb, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, is located directly below the altar of the Basilica. This is one of the reasons that make this building special, thus it is visited by millions of people every year. The construction of St. Peter’s Basilica began in the 1500’s. On 18th April 1506, Julius II laid the first stone of the new Basilica. The construction took about 120 years and was completed on 18th November 1626. St. Peter's Basilica is famous as a place of pilgrimage and for its liturgical functions. It was built as a funerary church, to house the tomb of Saint Peter and the tombs of Christians who wished to be buried near him. Most functions were commemorative rites for those who were buried there, ranging from private family meals to huge gatherings. There were 4 main architects that contributed to the St. Peter’s Basilica were Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In fact, there are more than 4 architects who contributed in this project throughout the timespan of its construction. Each of them contributed differently for redesigning and rebuilding this masterpiece. Michelangelo for example, started working on this building at the age 71, committed a lot to this building, such as calculating and designing the dome of the Basilica. One interesting fact is that, Michelangelo passed away before the dome was completed, but he left behind the design and a model of the dome as reference for his successors.
  3. 3. The table below is the list of various architects and their contribution to the St. Peter’s Basilica. Name of Architects Contribution to St. Peter’s Basilica Donato Bramante The first architect that work on St. Peter’s Basilica. He won the competition by Julius II who command to rebuild the new Basilica Antonio da Sangallo Bramante's student; He work on the Pauline Chapel, which is part of St. Peter’s Basilica Fra Giocondo He work on how to strengthen the foundation of the building Raphael Work with Giocondo to redesign the building, but at the end their plan was not executed Michelangelo One of the architects that is very famous for his contribution to the building. He design the dome, crossing, and exterior but not the nave and facade. Carlo Maderno He continued Michelangelo's work by extending his plan adding a nave and designed the grand facade Gian Lorenzo Bernini He work on the famous piazza in front of the Cathedral. Besides that he worked on the Cathedra Petri, and the Baldacchino The interior of Baroque style architecture, which is filled with unsymmetrical designs and statue of little angels. The interior of Renaissance style architecture, which portrays a clean and simple design and even proportions.
  4. 4. St. Peter’s Basilica floor plan is cruciform in shape, with an elongated shape of the Latin cross. It has a parabolic dome with a double column lantern. Besides that, The Basilica has centralized organizations and it has the characteristic of interlocking space. The main construction materials are marble and concrete. The other materials include travertine stone, limestone, bricks, mortar, mosaic, timber, bronze roof tiles and leaden roofing. The column shafts in the nave colonnades are made of an exotic variation of masonry such as granite and marble imported from foreign lands. The 14,000 ton dome is mostly made of masonry, held together by curved beams. Iron bands were used to encircle the base of the dome, giving tension and support. The travertine stone of the dome is held together using 7 internal iron rings, while iron chains reinforced the stability of the cupola. The insertion of iron rings and chains are the main feature to keep the basilica stable and standing thus far. Much of the interior is made of bronze and gilt. There are countless reasons why this building is special. Even though it is neither the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church or the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, St. Peter's basilica is still regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". In regards to Christianity, this was where Emperor Nero began the great persecution of Christians in Rome. After 200 years of persecution, Christians gained their freedom by Emperor Constantinople. It was in St. Peter's Basilica where they gathered and have their service. The location of Vatican Hill is also highly symbolic, reason being that this was the site where Saint Peter died a martyr and where he was buried in 64 AD. St. Peter is Diagram is showing floor plan with cruciform shape, interlocking spaces, and centralized organizations respectively.
  5. 5. considered the first pope, so it made sense for the papacy to build the principal shrine of the Catholic Church in the spot where St. Peter was buried. St. Peter’s Basilica as a Baroque Building The word Baroque is derived from ancient Portuguese “Barocco” which literally means “misshapen pearl” also simply meaning something that is elaborate. Before Baroque, as recalled in the introduction, Renaissance emphasize on symmetry, geometry, proportions and regularity of components which has been used in the architecture of ancient Greece and particularly Rome. It is changed in the Baroque Period where buildings were designed with bold curving, unsymmetrical building, and ornate decoration. Other than that, Baroque architecture still has more life to the building. Materials that are usually used for the interior in Baroque are mostly marble, gilt, and bronze, which can be found a lot in the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica. Numerous gilded puttos, also known as the little angels are used to decorate the interior of most Baroque architecture. The ceilings and domes in baroque style often contained large frescos or murals using what is known as "Trompe l'oeil" painting which is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting. The construction of St. Peter’s basilica achieved a major milestone in the architecture field with its gradual transition from Renaissance architecture to Baroque architecture. The unique rhetorical and theatrical design of the basilica expressed the jubilance of the Catholic Church. Throughout the time span of the construction of St. Peter’s basilica, numerous architects from both the Renaissance and Baroque era had designed and modified the building time and time until it was shaped into the impressive monument it is today. With its allusive depiction of the Baroque era and its historical significance, St. Peter’s basilica definitely captures the essence and representation of Baroque. Numerous gilded puttos, also known as the little angels are used to decorate the interior of most Baroque architecture.
  6. 6. References 1. Judith Dupre, 2001. Churches. HarperCollins Publication, New York. 2. R.A. Scotti , 2007. Basilica : the splendor and the scandal : building St. Peter’s. Plume Publications, United States of America. 3. George L. Hersey, 1927. Architecture and geometry in the age of the Baroque. University Chicago Press, Springfield. 4. Alexander Markschies, 2003. Icons of Renaissance architecture. Prestel, New York. 5. Germain Bazin, 2001. Baroque and rococo. [translated from the French by Jonathan Griffin] Thames and Hudson, United Kingdom. 6. Rolf Toman , 2002. Baroque and rococo. [text : Barbara Borngässer; photographs : Achim Bednorz.] Feierabend, Germany. 7. Jan Gympel, 2002. The story of architecture : from antiquity to the present. Konemann, United Kingdom.