Defying superlatives, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is unique. There is nothing else like it; it is the epitome of Renaissance architecture. Before the modern era of electric lighting, the vast structure was illuminated with candles and oil burning lamps, which left a sooty film over the ceiling art. Today, as a result of modern cleaning and restoration techniques, we can see it virtually as it was seen over 400 years ago.
With magnificent works of art by Raphael, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo and Bernini, the Basilica is one of the most highly visited sights in the world, drawing visitors of all religious faiths.
Photograph by Brian Hammonds.