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SAINT PETER BASILICA Sancti Petri Rome Holy Windows Silver Coin 10$ Palau 2011


The second issue of extraordinary "Holy Windows" series composed by silver coins featuring the innovative inclusion of actual stained glass comes this eye-catching issue paying tribute to the most famous Cathedrals of the world. This spectacular issue honors the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter (in Italian Basilica di San Pietro), a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City.

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It is thanks to Peter, the first Apostle and the first pope and leader of the Church that the most important basilica in the Christian world, the St. Peter's Basilica, was built in Rome.
Peter was given his name by Jesus because he was destined to be the foundation "stone" (in Italian "Pietra") on which the church would be built. He was certainly one of the most enterprising of the Apostles to say the least. He was imprisoned, and then miraculously released, following which he left Jerusalem and headed for Rome, the "Capital of the World", which was the centre of the immense Roman Empire at that time. Here he became bishop and then reigned as the first pope for 25 years.
During the fierce persecution of Nero, he died by crucifixion sometime between 64 and 67 AD on the Vatican Hills in the Neronian circle. In the 4th century, Emperor Constantine decided to erect the first basilica in honour of the Saint. This is how the Church, the physical and spiritual centre of Christianity was born. The first basilica was an immense and magnificent building, which guarded treasures of art and gold. It appears that the pilgrims of those times were greatly overwhelmed before such great marvels. Among the many works of art is the famous Navicella mosaic by Giotto, of which today, only a copy is still conserved in the portico.
Thousands of years later, Constantine's Basilica began to show the first signs of collapse. At the dawn of the 15th century, Pope Nicholas V and the architect, Bernardo Rossellino set to work on what would be one of the most famous and demanding building sites of the Renaissance; the so-called "Brickworks of St. Peter".
Many prestigious architects and artists of the time were involved with the construction of St. Peter's, but it was first Donato Bramante and then Michelangelo who created the revolutionary plant of the new construction. Bramante built the immense central body in the form of a Greek cross held up by four gigantic pillars. Michelangelo was the designer of the 'cuppolone', or the "enormous dome" as the people of Rome fondly call it, and he was also responsible for the simple, yet majestic exterior with its gigantic columns crowned by a very evident horizontal fascia. In the end, it was Carlo Maderno who lengthened the central nave of the church and erected the monumental façade. An imposing construction that was as big as a football field and as high as a thirteen-storey building, crowned with the colossal statues of Jesus, Giovanni Battista and the apostles.
From the portico, you enter the Basilica through five heavy bronze doors: the one on the far right is called the "Porta Santa", which is only opened during the jubilee year.
Inside, the effect is truly impressive and what surprises the most are its dimensions. You have the sensation of finding yourself in an empty void, and indeed the space is enormous when you consider that it can take in up to 20,000 worshippers. With its vast size, it is difficult to work out the true scale of the objects inside. At St. Peter's, nothing exists unless it is ten times as big as what it appears to be from a distance.
St. Peter's is also an extraordinary museum and it is impossible to estimate the priceless worth of the infinite works of art that can be found here. All you need to do is to think of the Baldachin by Bernini, or the sweet Pieta, which in Italian means 'Compassion', by Michelangelo. And then there is the exterior, where all around the church, you will see the magnificent marble columns of Bernini that enfold the surrounding square in a spectacular and metaphorical embrace. Seen from the centre of the square that was built to hold the crowds of believers who flock here from all over the world, the double columns of the portico are perfectly aligned in a surprising play with perspective.

  • CountryPalau
  • Year2011
  • Face Value10 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)925/1000
  • Weight (g)50
  • Size (mm)42 x 42
  • QualityAntique Finish
  • Mintage (pcs)999
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)No
The series, entitled "Holy Windows" will see a number of coins released, struck to exquisite proof quality, honouring famous Cathedrals throughout the world and their intricately designed stained glass windows. Struck in to the reverse of this coin is an image showing the outside of the magnificent Saint Peter Basilica. To the center is shown a section taken from within the basilica showing a beautifully designed stained-glass window: the famous alabaster window, surrounded by golden clouds and angels flying between rays of light, casts a mystical warmth through the basilica, especially in the afternoon. It is divided into twelve sections, in homage to the twelve Apostles who carried the words of the Gospel throughout the world. On top edge the name of the series, city featured and year of issue are inscribed. On the obverse the stained-glass can be seen showing the image in reverse. On this side, together with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, is the country of issue and the face value. This stunning entry into innovative numismatics, is struck from sterling silver and encapsulated, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.