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The Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica

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The Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica - www.visit-vatican-city.com

The Holy Door is the main door of St Peter’s Basilica. It was carved in 1445 for Constantine’s Basilica by the Florentine artist, Antonio Averlino, called Il Filarete.

The six larger panels depict Christ the Savior, the Virgin Mary, St. Paul, St Peter and the  stories of their martyrdom. In 1620, additions were made to the top and bottom bringing the doors to a height of 6.5 meters, to fit the entrance of the new basilica. Eugene IV Condulmer, who donated the bronze door, is portrayed at St. Peter’s feet. The four decorative bands separating the relief panels depict events from the years of his reign, specifically the 1439 Council of Florence, where the unification of the Orthodox and Catholic churches was discussed.

The space surrounding the two saints is decorated with Arabic writing. Carved amidst the acanthus volutes on the borders are scenes of animals and characters from history and ancient mythology, a typical decoration of the Renaissance inspired by classical art.

This door is the earliest example of Renaissance art in Rome.

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