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Amazing experience that you will never forget. I have been to Rome in September 2006 and it is still alive in my remembrance. I was caught by the huge interior of St Peter's. I could never before imagine something so large and spacious. And such a place where sooo many people come just in order to experience this attraction... It is said that 60.000 people can fit in the dome and its tract has 15.000 quadratic meter.
While entering, my eyes were caught by the art on the walls and on the ceiling that were a bit exaggerated and sometimes kitschy. Words are not enough to describe how horrified I was. I would wish to everybody to experience it once in real to know what is catholicism about. - and maybe to be horrified...
It was interesting for me to get know that on the ground is marked with length of the structures of other huge domes in the world, as for instance the one in Cologne. It was pretty good to have at least a rough imagination that even the dome of Cologne -masterpiece of Gothic architecture (I have been first in Cologne afterwards in Rome, actually already in Cologne I thought to see something exceptionally ugly) does not reach the measure of Basilika St. Peter.
I have been visiting also the dome cupola, that meant to ascend first up on many stairs. There was almost no fresh, just humid air. And at some places very narrow corridors so that more weighty people would not really come through. After all this uneasiness, the result was, that when reaching the top, I did not have anyway any real outlook even from this bird perspective onto the Vatican because there were too many people everywhere taking photos, enjoying the place and being attracted by what they could.Though the bird's eye perspective gave me the chance to experience the dome from another, higher view.