Item description for The Vatican by Michael Collins...
Overview "The Vatican" is a unique, behind-the-scenes tour of the world's smallest nation and the spiritual center of the Roman Catholic Church. Written by a former employee of the Vatican, this book offers readers an unprecedented photographic journey.
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Studio: DK ADULT
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.15" Width: 9.21" Height: 1.19" Weight: 3.71 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2008
Publisher DK Adult
ISBN 0756636337 ISBN13 9780756636333 UPC 690472036333
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael Collins
Michael Collins flew in both the Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 space missions in the 1960s. He currently lives in South Florida.
What a glorious book! Lavish color photographs take you, not just into the Vatican itself, but into all the niches and hidden treasures that the tourists miss.
The Vatican holds an incomparable number of treasures of art and history. It's history goes back to the Roman empire. The Leonine Wall dates from when the barbarians were attacking Rome and the empire was crumbling. Turn another page and look at the Pine Cone Courtyard where "the bronze pine cone was once part of a 1st or 2nd century Roman fountain" (p 119).
Lots of interesting nuggets. For example, the stunning baldacchino by Bernini was made from "90 tons of bronze came from the portico of Rome's Pantheon" (p 92).
On a humbler note, there are pictures of the free meals the Vatican nuns serve to the homeless.
The Vatican - A Wonderful addition to any libarary Jan 31, 2009
The Vatican is highly recommended and a wonderful additon to your pesonnal library. A wealth of information with lots of high quality photos -everything about the vatican. This is a must have and a great deal for the price because of all the information and wonderful high quality photos.
"Life in the Holy Lane" Jan 31, 2009
DK Books have, once again, excelled themselves and produced a lavish "coffee table" book, which I doubt will remain long on many coffee tables! A clear map and legend on the endpapers shows just how small the Stado della Città del Vaticano really is (even with the extraterritorial palaces and churches the Concordat of 1929 it is little more than 120 acres) and yet the contents page and index reveal the stunning richness of all that is "The Vatican".
Fr Collins did his postgraduate studies in Rome which show in the detail with which he captions the wealth of photographs. Scriptural passages, spread throughout the book serve as antipasti to the primo piatto of the brief, but thorough, introductions to each section. Within each section the secondo piatto of the captions entice the reader to the wondrous confections of dolci served up in the multitude of amazing photographs illustrating two thousand years of continuous salvation history. Arcane elements of Catholic ritual, tradition and ecclesiology are clearly explained in the text and glossary without patronizing those who may already know such esoteric terms. That the preponderance of photographs of the pope are of Benedict XVI shows that this is a new work, but some of the photographs do show buildings which are either currently swathed in scaffolding, or have been fully restored since the picture was taken. The reader will be delighted with the real thing. I found the section "People" to be the most fascinating as it contained much I didn't already know, especially when telling the stories of those whose lives are behind the scenes (the Curator, the Choir Boy, and the Restorers). Who would have known the intricacies and intimacies of daily life in the hallowed halls of the Holy See? The universality and the humanity of this, the smallest sovereign state in the world, is shown by the work of Sr Agnes Marie (from Poland), the Sister of Charity, and Fabio (from Brazil), the Seminarian, together with the Pope (from Germany), the Diplomat (from Argentina), the Swiss Guard (Switzerland, of course) and the others (Italians all); none of whom is seeking what the world offers but rather integrating languages and cultures better to serve God in the world of his creation. For anyone thinking of a pilgrimage to Rome (or even just a visit) this book will be an invaluable resource, both before you go and when you return to refresh your memory of what you've seen.
Beautiful Book Jan 13, 2009
I bought this book for a Christmas present for my best friend, and I want to get one for myself. The photography is gorgeous and the text is fascinating. I love how the front and back cover are designed as well. Spectacular and really worth having.
A WORK OF ART Jan 7, 2009
Generally speaking, coffee table books usually do not impress me unless they address natural history subjects. This work is an exception though. The photography is absolutely breathtaking in its scope and beauty. The subject matter...well, that sort of speaks for itself.
Father Michael Collins has given us a peek into a world that most of us will never see in real life. In many ways a trip through this book is better than the usually tourist thing because we are treated to sights, that unless we worked in the inner circle of the Vatican, we simply would never have access to. The book begins by reviewing all of the Popes from Peter (c. 32 - c.67) to present and a small painting, sculpture or picture of each is shown. The books text, accompanied by numerous beautiful illustrations gives us a brief history of the Vatican, major events, the beginnings, major changes and places each in historical perspective.
Some of the subjects that follow ( And it should be noted here that the majority of the volume of this books is photographs with well worded and informative captions), are as follow: Vatican life, restoration projects, the Swiss Guard, Saints, entire physical workings, treasures (there is a particularly beautiful photographic display of Miters), clothing-vestments, Pectoral Crosses, Papal Jewelry, Crosses, Monstrances, Ciborlas, Chalices, Cruets, Bells, gardens, buildings, sculptures, paintings and much, much more.
The strength of this entire work of course is the hundreds of high quality photographs which cover virtually ever page of this oversized book. There are 311 pages, not including a comprehensive index and comprehensive and useful chronology at the end of the book. Still, I cannot stress the quality of the photography in this volume of work enough. The book alone is a work of art in this aspect.
A reader could spend hours pouring over page after page of this book and have great difficulty taking it all in. This is one of those books that need to be gone over and over again and again because each time something new will pop out that has gone unnoticed in previous readings.
Now do keep in mind that this is not a scholarly history of the Vatican by any means; but that being said, there is much to learn from its pages, many facts that have slipped by. I would strongly recommend having a go at this work even for those not of the faith as it is a pure delight to the eye. It is also good to get to know this place a bit better because for good or bad, it has been for the past 2,000 or more year's one of the more important spots of ground on earth and certainly a central part of Western Civilization.
If you do not care to spend the money on this one, then I suggest you go to your local library as I did. this one is well worth the time it takes to go through it and it will more than likely have to be renewed at the end of your checkout time.