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ID number:757846
Published: 04.05.2004.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

After the completion of The Last Judgment Michelangelo began to focus his efforts toward architecture; in 1538/39 plans were under way for the remodeling of the buildings surrounding the Campidoglio (the Capitol), the civic and political heart of Rome. Although Michelangelo's plan was not started until the 1550's and not completed until the 17th century, he designed the Campidoglio in the shape of an oval, with a bronze equestrian statue of the emperor Marcus Aurelius in its center. Michelangelo's crowing achievement in architecture is the cupola
on the top of St. Peter's Basilica. In 1546 Michelangelo was made chief architect during the basilica's construction. In addition to the dome above the alter, Michelangelo also designed the slanted, staircase that spirals up along the perimeter of the dome and leads to the top of the cupola.<Tab/> The dome became a symbol of authority, as well as a model, for other domes in the Western world, including the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Most of Michelangelo's original designs and structures can still be viewed today, with little or no alteration; they continue to inspire architects because of their combination of originality and functionality.

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