As a Christian, I failed to sense the spiritual power of this place, but the impression of force and artistic achievement is overwhelming. Probably because Saint Peter’s Basilica is rather a museum, than a place of worship. It is the largest interior space any church has on the face of […]

There are such lucky towns that offer their visitors the opportunity of time traveling. For instance, when I entered the Byzantine Art Museum in Thessaloniki, I was met by a large print with what seemed to be a drawing after a crossing between an ancient temple and a modern church. […]

The Vatican is as fascinating for conspiracy theorists as it is for the Catholic believers. The statues of deities from all sorts of beliefs, which early Christians would have regarded as idols, are now displayed in numerous chambers of the Vatican Palace. The Greek and Roman mythology is best represented, […]

The Papal residence is not a palace in the traditional understanding of the term, but rather a collection of villas, palaces and other interconnecting buildings, constructed in different centuries. The oldest, the Belvedere, dates from 1484. At that time it was the first major villa built in Rome not out […]

Pieta is probably the second best known statue of Michelangelo. Without reaching the absolute perfection of David, found in Florence, this sculpture is an impressive example of Renaissance art, by what is probably the best sculptor since antiquity. It represents Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus, after the descent […]

From the treasury held by the Vatican Museum, some 460 notable paintings, grouped in 18 chambers, were selected to form Vatican’s art gallery open to the public. Among them, the works of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Giotto, Veronese, Caravaggio and many others. The canvas paintings add to Michelangelo’s frescoes […]

The tour through the Vatican Museum walks tourists through the countless sections that include Egyptology, ancient sculpture, tapestry, oil paintings. Before the high point represented by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, which is always the last point of the typical tour, the visitors meet the marvelous successive rooms covered with frescoes by […]

What Medici family started in Florence, and was branded by their chronicler and propagandist Giorgio Vasari as the Renaissance, found its peak in Rome, with the help of Pope Julius II. Perhaps the name chosen by this pope, alluding to Julius Caesar, was not coincidental. The ambitions of this head […]

The last supper Jesus and His apostles took before the trial and the crucifixion is one of the most popular scenes in Christian iconography. The tradition is so old, this scene was even drawn on the walls of the catacombs when Christianity was illegal. The biblical foundation of this art […]

The Millennium monument in the Heroes’ Square in Budapest was built in 1900 in remembrance of one thousand years since the Magyars came to Europe, lead by Arpad. The Hungarians were nomadic tribes that came from the Ural region or could be related to the Huns. The seven mythical leaders […]

Three emperors contributed to this public bath, the most grandiose building of its type. Its 120.000 sq m size equaled the prior baths of Caracalla, but it included some architectural innovations especially about arcades and semi-domes that were to be used in churches and public buildings for the millenniums to […]

The equestrian statue of King Carol I of Romania was rebuilt and placed once again in the Revolution Square, where it is surrounded by representative buildings of the dynastic era. Behind the statue there is the University Library (former building of the Royal Arts Foundation), in front there is the […]

In antiquity, Galatia was populated by migrant Celtic tribes from Gaul and was situated in Anatolia, where today is Turkey. Long before the Ottomans or even the Romans to arrive, the region was under the cultural influence of the Greek world. Alexander the Great conquered the entire known world as […]

Though he appears only briefly in the Iliad, the Trojan priest Laocoon comes to represent the voice of reason. He is the one that warns the Trojans of the wooden horse trick that would lead to the destruction of the city. The Trojan war is the most important and most […]

For Ancient Rome, the separations we mentally make between Europe and Orient was not a definite border. The Romans rather thought of their empire as surrounding the Mediterranean See, thus including parts of North Africa, Middle East, Greek islands or Anatolian plateau. The lively exchanges between these regions and cultures […]

The conquest of Dacia by the Romans was such an important event for the empire, that Trajan payed for a nonstop party of 123 days at the Colosseum. Following the Latin motto “bread and circus”, the show was on a grandiose scale: 10.000 gladiators fought 11.000 wild animals during it. […]

Strolling through the galleries of the Archeology Museum in Thessaloníki one can but wonder what happened with the art of carving in the period between Antiquity and Renaissance, when brilliant artists rediscovered the lines of the human body and the techniques necessary to reproduce movement and emotion in stone and […]

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