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Paul L. Gleiser | all galleries >> Selecting a New Pope April 2005 > 0404d-0414-0010.jpg
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04/14/2005 Paul L. Gleiser


St. Peter's Square Rome, Italy

St. Peter's Square was relatively deserted on Thusday afternoon before the conclave to select the man to succeed Pope John Paul II began on Monday. This version of St. Peter's Basilica replaced the original basilica built by the emperor Constantine in the fourth century. The current basilica was originally designed on the plan of a Greek cross. Unlike the traditional Latin cross that is common to most cathedrals and Christian churches, the two arms of a Greek cross (nave and transept) are equal in length. A subsequent decision was made to lengthen the nave, reforming St. Peter's as a Latin cross. The lengthened nave and the height of the facade designed by Carlo Moderno serve to obscure much of the drum supporting the dome designed by Michelangelo.

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