Monday, February 25, 2013

The Popes at St. Paul's

The first 4 Popes at St Paul's Basilica

One of the four major basilicas in Rome is dedicated to St Paul, incidentally called ‘St Paul outside the walls,’ because of its distance from the center of Rome. The basilica is known among other things for a series of 265 medallions of the Popes that have reigned so far. They are spread through the interior of the Basilica, and some of them even on the outside. The medallions are made from mosaic and there are only two spaces left beyond Pope Benedict XVI. 
Pope Benedict's medallion in mosaic

Each one is shown with the respective name above and the years of their respective reign of Papacy. The basilica suffered much damage over the centuries but was officially re-opened in its present state in 1840. In the old basilica each pope had his portrait in a frieze extending above the columns separating the four aisles and naves. The medallions were re-installed when the new basilica was rebuilt.
More of the Pope medallions around the entire basilica

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I were just discussing whether there was more than one space left. Thanks!