It became the third cathedral built at the place of Nero Circus’ gardens over the tomb of Saint Peter crucified here in Nero’s rule. Saint Peter’s Basilica inverts all Christian canons, as its altar looks west due to local topographic features. Moreover, it caused the schism of Catholic Church and split of Europe, as the costs of the project were so huge that the church authorities had to resume selling indulgence, which Martin Luther passionately opposed to. The 100-year-long project implemented by about a dozen architects including Michelangelo, Rafael and Bramante resulted in construction of Pantheon on Parthenon, as Victor Hugo described it. The cathedral was copied in almost every country of the world: St. Paul’ Cathedral in London, as well as St. Isaac’s and Kazan ones in Saint Petersburg are reckoned among such imitations. The record now is held by Yamoussoukro: the cathedral in the capital of Cote d’Ivoire has taken the fame of the planet’s largest temple away from the masterpiece of Renaissance.
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