St. Peter's Baldachin in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
Photo credit: @anjaism
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome, Italy.
Built on the site of St. Peter’s crucifixion and over his tomb, it is the epicenter of the Catholic Church and the burial place of many popes. It's also a museum full of priceless works of art — including Michelangelo’s spectacular “Pietà” and Bernini’s bronze baldachin.
St. Peter's Baldachin (Baldacchino di San Pietro), a large Baroque sculpted bronze canopy (95ft. canopy) over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica, is located at the centre of the crossing and directly under the dome of the basilica.
Designed by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it was intended to mark, in a monumental way, the place of Saint Peter's tomb underneath. Under its canopy is the high altar of the basilica.
Built between 1624 and 1633, the baldachin acts as a visual focus within the basilica. It rests upon four helical columns each of which stands on a high marble plinth.
The 20 m (66 ft) high twisting bronze columns seemed to corkscrew around themselves all the way up to an elaborately decorated canopy made from gilded wood. Atop the baldachin were four angel figures. In the middle, two putti (winged child) held St. Peter’s keys and the papal crown.