After the Roman Empire fell in the fifth century, the city of Rome gradually came under control
实际上 好几个世纪以来 主教都被称为“教皇”
of the pope. In fact for centuries, the pope was called the “King Pope.” Little by little,
the “King Pope” built his own empire. At its peak around the 17th century, the “Papal States,”
as they were called, encompassed much of the Italian peninsula. When the modern nation
of Italy was united, it absorbed most of the Papal States, including the city of Rome.
But the pope held out. For sixty years the pope was holed up here,
behind the Vatican Walls. Finally, in 1929, the pope and Mussolini signed the Lateran
Treaty, establishing the Vatican as its own nation. The garden-like core of the country
— where serious administration takes place — is closed to the public.
The Vatican “military” is made up of the Swiss Guard. In 1506, the pope imported mercenaries
他们以忠诚和勇猛著称 如今 大约100瑞士
from Switzerland, who were known for their loyalty and courage. Today, about 100 Swiss
soldiers still protect the pope, keep the crush of tourists as orderly as possible…and
wear the flamboyant Renaissance-style uniform that tourists just love to photograph.
The Vatican has its own postal service. Many consider it to be more reliable than mailing
在意大利 和 梵蒂冈 邮票是很不错的纪念品
things from across the street, in Italy…and Vatican stamps are a fun souvenir.
The Vatican is built on the memory and tomb of the first pope, St. Peter. Piazza San Pietro
sits on what was the site of a Roman racetrack. Imagine chariots making their hairpin turns
around that obelisk. For added entertainment during the games,
Christians were executed here. In about 65 A.D., the apostle Peter was crucified within
sight of this obelisk. His friends buried him in a humble graveyard atop what pagan
Romans called the Vatican Hill. For about 250 years Christians worshipped quietly on
主后313年 君士坦丁大帝宣布基督教合法 在圣彼得墓地
this spot. Then, when Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in 313 A.D., a basilica
was built here, and this became the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Twelve hundred years later, the original St. Peter’s was replaced by this, the most glorious
进入教堂后 你的第一反应就是 太大了 绝对超过600英尺
church in all Christendom. Upon entering, your first impression is: It’s big…
over 600 feet long, bathed in glorious sunbeams. It can accommodate thousands of worshippers.
Near the entrance, Michelangelo’s Pietà is adored by pilgrims and tourists alike.
Here the 25-year-old Michelangelo intends to make the theological message very clear: Jesus
耶稣原来活着 但现在死了 他用生命拯救了世人
— once alive but now dead — gave his life for our salvation. The contrast provided by
即使穿着坚硬的大理石雕刻而成的简便长袍 圣母玛利亚似乎也是温柔 可信的
Mary’s rough robe makes his body — even carved in hard marble — seem soft and believable.
The high altar, like so much of the art decorating the Vatican, is a masterpiece by the great
Baroque artist Bernini. With sunlight illuminating its alabaster window — as if powering the
Holy Spirit, it encrusts the legendary throne of St. Peter with a starburst of Baroque praise.
Directly above the altar which marks the tomb of St. Peter, stands Bernini’s bronze canopy,
and above that Michelangelo’s dome — taller than a football field on end. The inscription
declares, in Latin: Tu es Petrus…”You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.”
This is the scriptural basis for the primacy of Rome in the Catholic Church.
A viewing perch gives travelers a close-up look at those huge letters and a heavenly
perspective into the church. From the rooftop you can size up the dome you’re about to climb.
For a close look at Michelangelo’s dome-within-a-dome design, lean in as you climb 300 steps to
the cupola. The view from the top is unrivaled: both of
the city of Rome…and of the Vatican grounds. You can survey the entire country from this lofty perch.
The long rectangular building is the Vatican Museum with the adjacent Sistine Chapel.
These buildings and courtyards display some of the greatest art of Western civilization.
Over the centuries the popes have amassed enough art to fill what many consider Europe’s
richest museum. Long halls are sumptuously decorated with precious tapestries, frescoed
ceilings, and ancient statues. The museum features art from every age.
Its exquisite painting gallery includes Raphael’s much-loved painting of the Transfiguration.
Halls and courtyards are littered with ancient Greek masterpieces — like the Laocoön…
so inspirational to the great masters of the Renaissance.
And the pope’s apartments tell Christian history — this is the battle in which Emperor Constantine
was led by angels and a holy cross both to a key military victory and to his own religious conversion.
And these rooms celebrate pre-Christian philosophy.
Here Raphael paints the School of Athens…the who’s who of ancient Greek intellectual heroes…
画中有许多文艺复兴大师 李奥纳多 米开朗基罗
many painted with the features of Renaissance greats…Leonardo, Michelangelo…and a
self-portrait of Raphael — in the black cap. But of course, we’ve just scratched the surface.
If you’re pondering eternity, try covering the Vatican Museum thoroughly.