Donato Bramante, Plan for New Saint Peter’s (Vatican City, Rome, Italy), 1506
In 1506, Pope Julius made the astonishing decision to demolish the Constantinian bascilica, which had fallen into disrepair. To design and build the new church, the pope appointed Bramante who envisioned the new Saint Peter’s as a central-plan building. In this case, a Greek cross (with four arms of equal length) crowned by an enormous dome. The design was intended to continue the tradition of domed and round martyrs’ shrines; the central plan and dome, in the Renaissance, symbolized God’s perfection (Marilyn Stokstad, Art History, Volume Two. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2008), 679).