Bernini’s Baldacchino


Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Baldacchino is a monumental canopy above the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. 

The Baldacchino, commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in 1623, symbolizes the papacy’s authority and is the basilica’s central focus.

The Baldacchino is made of bronze and stands nearly 100 feet tall. 

It consists of four twisted columns, each over 60 feet tall, that support a canopy adorned with cherubs and other decorative elements. 

Temple of Jerusalem’s columns inspired Baldacchino’s columns. 

As per history, they were brought to Rome by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century.

Bernini’s Baldacchino was a major undertaking that took over 20 years to complete. 

It required casting more than 300 tons of bronze, which came from melting down the bronze doors of the ancient Roman Pantheon. 

The Baldacchino features a wealth of sculptural detail, including cherubs, angels, and other ornamental elements intricately made from bronze.

The Baldacchino is one of Bernini’s most significant works and a masterpiece of Baroque art. 

It has become an iconic symbol of St. Peter’s Basilica and the papacy. 

It continues to be a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims visiting Rome.

In addition to its artistic and historical significance, the Baldacchino also has a practical function. 

It serves as a canopy over the altar, protecting it from the elements and providing a sense of intimacy and sanctity for the celebration of Mass.

Bernini’s Baldacchino is a testament to the creativity and skill of one of history’s greatest architects and sculptors. 

It is a unique and enduring work of art that continues to inspire and awe visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Learn more about this masterpiece with a guided tour when you visit.

Featured Image:

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!