The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 11 was not the only surprise to hit the Vatican. Two different bolts of lightning struck St. Peter's, causing electrical shocks. The fact that there was no damage to the basilica implies that it is adequately secured against lightning. However, because electricity can travel along a building's metal frame and terminals, it is important to ensure that any occupied buildings use protective measures.
St. Peter's is not the first European church to be hit by lightning. In 1991, during a storm in London, England, a bolt of lightning killed three people near Westminster Abbey. The cathedral at Lichfield, England, also has been hit by lightning on several occasions. It began in 578 when King Aethelberht ordered construction of the city wall, which included an area where trees were cut down for fuel for heat and light. This area became known as "Aethelberht's Wood". The first written record of a lightning strike comes from 813 when the site now called Lichfield Cathedral was consecrated by the bishop of London. Since then, it has been struck by lightning more than 30 times. In 1556, during a battle between Catholics and Protestants, the tower of Lichfield Cathedral was blown up by the government to prevent it from being used by insurgents. The blast was heard for miles around and some have said they saw lights like candles or torches moving about the woods after the explosion.
Franklin's experiment established a link between lightning and electricity. Another myth that has been dispelled is that Franklin's kite was not struck by lightning. Experts believe he would have been electrocuted if it had happened. Instead, the kite gathered up the storm's ambient electrical charge. When it came in contact with a metal object such as a key or a fork, an arc of electricity was transmitted through the key to the string, which then moved the sail. The wind caught the sail and drove the boat forward.
In addition to being an important scientist, Benjamin Franklin was also known for his inventiveness and creativity. He designed several other devices including a thermoscope, which was very popular in its time, and a centrifugal pump, which is still in use today.
Franklin's ideas helped establish America as a leading nation in science. He is considered the father of both electricity and fire protection systems.
Another fact about Benjamin Franklin is that he proposed the idea of the American flag to show unity during times of conflict and division. He felt that a single star could be added to the existing stars on the flag to represent each state. The blue color of the sky and the white color of snow are references to Franklin's love for his country.
Just before the dense smoke poured into the beautiful skies over Rome, a tremendous explosion was heard. A large number of firefighters were visible at the auto-garage where the fire began. Visitors to the city resorted to social media to express their amazement at the events that were taking place. "Vatican on fire," one individual simply tweeted. Another wrote, "The Vatican is on fire."
The fire started at about 2:20 AM in an electrical shop near the Vatican wall. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to a single unit within the garage, but it was still burning more than six hours later. No one was injured in the incident.
The cause of the fire is not known yet. However, investigators suspect that someone may have been sabotaging the facility by opening and closing doors for overheating electrical equipment inside the garage.
The garage belongs to a company that provides electricity to various buildings within the Vatican City State. The company says that it will send experts to evaluate the damage caused by the fire.
The Vatican has a history of fires. In 1772, a fire broke out in the attic of the Santa Maria della Vittoria church and spread to other parts of the building. It took seven days to control the blaze which destroyed many of the city's ancient documents.
In 1995, another fire broke out in the attic of a Vatican hotel and spread to two other hotels.
When attacking Rome, both Allied and Axis bombers made an effort not to hit the Vatican. The Vatican City, on the other hand, was bombarded at least twice, once by the British and once by the Germans.
The first attack took place on 24 August 1944 during the battle for Rome. A group of British bombers attacked military targets in the city while another group dropped four tons of high-explosive and eleven thousand leaflets urging Italian civilians to flee before the approaching German troops. One of the British planes was lost due to mechanical problems and another was damaged by anti-aircraft fire. No casualties were reported among the crew or passengers.
The second attack occurred on 5 September 1944 during the battle for Italy. This time it was the Germans who dropped propaganda leaflets from aircraft warning civilians in Rome's outlying areas to leave their homes before being bombed. Again, no one was killed.
In conclusion, the Vatican was not attacked during World War II because it was considered part of Rome, which was under British control. However, the Pope did send letters to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill asking them to respect his country's neutrality and not to attack Rome. Although neither letter had any effect on the course of the war, they do show that the Pope did everything he could to protect his flock.
When this happens, the tower's lattice construction protects it by acting as a Faraday cage, a type of metal enclosure that conducts lightning energy to the ground exclusively through the building's exterior. Because the internal structure of the tower is made of wood, however, it will burn if it comes into contact with the lightning.
The tower's owner, the city of Paris, France, performs regular inspections of the structure and sends up warning signals if there are any signs of damage. The tower has withstood several storms over the years without significant injury to people or property.
Here are some other famous landmarks that have withstood severe weather:
Eiffel Tower - France
Statue of Liberty - United States
Dome of the Rock - Israel/Jordan
Babylonian Temple - Iraq
Lion Gate - Beijing, China
Horyu-ji - Japan
Ishinomaki Daibutsu - Japan
Kizhi Pogost - Russia
Tower of London - England/Scotland