|Disputa, 1510-1511. Raphael, Fresco, Vatican Stanza della Segnatura, Rome. Heaven is the section above while the earthly scene is depicted below.
|It would seem that "getting there is half the fun."
|No sign of St. Peter.
|Assuming you somehow get there...
|Lots of musical talent on display, day after day after day.
|Disney anyone? Never Never Land, perhaps.
|Is that a Trump Tower in the background?
The problem with most such contrived urban landscapes is that Heaven literally boggles the imagination. Artists find themselves reverting to earthly skyscrapers, domed temples, lined with seemingly endless colonnades and arcades stretching into infinity, not to mention eternity. The most accurate depictions of Heaven can be found in John's account of the tour of the place he was given and recorded in the book of Revelation 21:12-15. "The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. The walls are 144 cubits thick (216 feet thick) and the gates are 12 pearls, one pearl for each gate." We can assume that since pearls are spheres, the gates would be the same thickness as the walls, therefore 216 feet high and long. There are 12 walls in the city, and the city is laid out as a square, the city is 12,000 furlongs square, (1 furlong is 600 feet) making the city 1363 miles long, wide and high. The four walls have three gates each. Twelve gates with three on a side, would therefore mean a gate every 454 miles.
|Judging from the scriptures, most artists' renderings of
Heaven are simply too limited in size and scope (above-left).
The map (top-right) gives a much truer perspective.
|Heaven meets Disneyland. The shape is wrong but the scale is not far off.