Tota pulchra et pretiosa

The Altar of the Chair


The Altar of the Chair of Saint Peter in the Vatican Basilica in the good old days. The masterpiece, commissioned by pope Urban VIII, was completed in 1666 by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini. He innovatively used honey glass to create the centre of Gloria, in the middle of which the image of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove is visible. Below, there is the proper reliquary of St. Peter’s Chair, supported by figures of the Four Fathers of the Church over whom two angels are holding the symbols of the papacy: the tiara and the keys. At the very bottom, one can see the altar with the sedilla standing on the epistle side. Unfortunately, after the Second Vatican Council, it was removed, so nowadays there is neither an altar nor a papal throne in this place.

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