The story of the Basilica and a Cathedral in two very different places.


St Peter’s Keith Miller Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano  History London : Profile, 2007 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing.     xx, 231 p. : ill. ; 20 cm. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

Built by the decree of Constantine, rebuilt by some of the most distinguished architects in Renaissance Italy, emulated by Hitler’s architect in his vision for Germania, immortalized on film by Fellini, and fictionalized by a modern American bestseller, St. Peter’s is the most easily recognizable church in the world. This book is a cultural history of one of the most significant structures in the West. It bears the imprint of Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini, and Canova. For Grand Tourists of the eighteenth century, St. Peter’s exemplified the sublime. It continues to fascinate visitors today and appears globally as a familiar symbol of the papacy and of the Catholic Church itself.

The church was first built in the fourth century on what is thought to be the tomb of Peter—the rock upon which Christ decreed his church shall be built. After twelve hundred years, the church was largely demolished and rebuilt in the sixteenth century when it came to acquire its present-day form. St. Peter’s awes the visitor by its gigantic proportions, creating a city within itself. It is the mother church, the womb from which churches around the world have taken inspiration. This book covers the social, political, and architectural history of the church from the fourth century to the present. From the threshold, to the subterranean Roman necropolis, to the dizzying heights of the dome, this book provides rare perspectives and contexts for understanding the shape and significance of the most illustrious church in the world.

 

 

The holy place : architecture, ideology, and history in Russia Konstantin Akinsha and Grigorij Kozlov ; with Sylvia Hochfield Khram Khrista Spasitelia (Moscow, Russia) History New Haven : Yale University Press, c 2007 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xii, 212 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 187-201) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

This book surveys two centuries of Russian history through a succession of ambitious architectural projects designed for a single construction site in central Moscow. Czars, Bolshevik rulers, and contemporary Russian leaders alike have dreamed of glorious monuments to themselves and their ideologies on this site. The history of their efforts reflects the story of the nation itself and its repeated attempts to construct or reconstruct its identity and to repudiate or resuscitate emblems of the past.

In the nineteenth century Czar Alexander I began to construct the largest cathedral (and the largest building) in the world at the time. His successor, Nicholas I, changed both the site and the project. Completed by Alexander III, the cathedral was demolished by Stalin in the 1930s to make way for the tallest building in the world, the Palace of Soviets, but that project was ended by the war. During the Khrushchev years the excavation pit was transformed into an outdoor heated swimming pool — the world’s largest, of course — and under Yeltsin’s direction the pool was replaced with a reconstruction of the destroyed cathedral. The book explores each project intended for this ideologically-charged site and documents with 60 illustrations the grand projects that were built as well as those that were only dreamed.

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