Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Measuring up to St Peter

Visitors to St Peter's in Rome may be aware that the lengths of major world Cathedrals are measured out down the nave of the great basilica. Here we are, proudly given in Latin as ECCLESIA CATHEDRALIS WESTMONASTERIENSIS at 110 metres. What makes me even prouder is that we are recordeed next to Haghia Sophia in Constantinople at109.57 metres. Eagle eyed observers will also see the length of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, given as 109.14 metres.

4 comments:

AuroraJohn said...

Great blog, with honesty and humour and just a bit competitive.

So whilst you've been nave gazing and I've been navel gazing, it set my silly mind off.
A nave 110 meters long ehh? Now, it's just an idea, but with the London 2012 Olympic Games fast approaching, and what with the unpredictable weather perhaps we might need to find an indoor venue should the day prove too wet for the 100m final.
And then, you need an upstairs facility where the crowds could watch a race over 100m or 110m high hurdles.
As for the athletes, how about Europe's Mgr Langham vs USA's Mgr Levada?
Note, the young Rocco Palmo would be obliged to watch from the Loggia.

Keep up the good work Mgr. Mark

st columba said...

There is a story about the time when Francis Cardinal Spellman was in St Peter's looking at the cathedral measurements on the floor but could not find his cathedral, St Patrick's of New York City. When he has an official about this, the reply was "Ah, Eminence, the archbishop of the most wealthy and powerful diocese in the world. And your cathedral, if it were included in the measurements, would be the smallest one here!"

Michael O'Leary said...

When I was in Rome with the Guild of St Stephen Altar Servers trip in 2005 one of the first things I did on entering St Peter's was to look for Westminster Cathedral's inscription in the floor of the Nave. It was also interesting to see that London's St Paul's Cathedral also has an inscription which I think is the first one you see after entering St Peter's Basillica showing that at time it must have been the world's longest Cathedral.

Anonymous said...

The length of the nave of St Paul'scathedral is indeed the first one you see, however the Latin used to describe the edifice itself is "fanum", a distinctly profane title, reflecting the separation of our brethren from the Mother Church