Friday, April 23, 2010

Europe Holiday - Day 2 - Visiting & Viewing Vatican

The first half of the day was allocated to visit the Holy Vatican. I did have some idea on geographies, that the Vatican and Rome were very close, but did not know that the time it takes to reach Vatican is just 20 min from Rome! Vatican and Rome is separated with just a common wall. Not only Vatican is the smallest country (also categorized as sovereign city state) in the world, it is perhaps also the least populated (900+)!

When I compare Vatican to other Holy Shrines in India like Tirupati or Kashi, Vatican is really less crowded and has facility to park only 40 buses. Logistics must be extremely good in Vatican where the crowd is constantly moving. It's amazing to experience that the world's biggest religion's head quarters/holy centre is actually not that difficult to enter and view. One has to just drive a few minutes from Rome, park the vehicle and start walking towards the St. Peter's Cathedral.

As the local guide took over we could learn a bit about Holy Vatican. The name "Vatican" is ancient and predates Christianity, coming from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount. The politics of Vatican City takes place in an absolute elective monarchy, in which the head of the Roman Catholic Church takes power. The Pope exercises principal legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of Vatican City, which is a rare case of a non-hereditary monarchy.

We then entered St. Peter's Basilica we see that every corner of basilica represents colorful art. Be it sculptures, pillars or paintings ... Vatican is at its best. The Basilica does not really give you a feeling that it's an absolute prayer hall ... it also exhibits art like a museum.

I switched my camera mode to 'night' so that I don't miss out capturing those beautiful paintings that depict the sufferings of people before Christ and many other stages of Christian history. We were restricted from not photographing a small room in which a few bishops were reading the holy bible.

It was interesting to note that 100 Swiss guards are guarding the Pope and the Vatican. Swiss guards, as we all have heard are known for their loyalty in french history.

As we came out of the Basilica, our trip to Vatican almost ended. We could also see the 'second window' through which Pope Offers blessings to mass, I guess on Wednesdays at 12 pm.

There is perhaps lot more to see in Vatican, below the basilica and behind. However there is always a next time, anytime anyone visits Rome ... driving down to Vatican is a very simple affair.


Anuradha said...

Nice Shar, to record your thoughts and experiences, we can know about it and you cherish it later...
But am sure there was lots more in your jounrney :)

Cipson said...

Hi...Happy to read your experience and as usual good write up.

prof.vijayalaxmiDesai said...

It was amazing and wonderful expressions of ur Europe soooo glad to know ur ACHIEVEMENT AND POSESSIONS. ITS A GREAT HOBBY TO DOCUMENT THE TRAVALOGUE AND INSPIRE OTHERS.KEEP IT UP!

=D :D