18 Dec 2015

Rome: the historic centre (3)


With less than a week to go before Christmas I'm finishing my walk around some of Rome's historic centre with a look inside the Pantheon which is not far from Piazza Venezia and Il Vittoriano or the Victor Emmanuel II Monument (below) - an unmistakable landmark.  A lift that was installed a few years ago takes visitors to the top of this impressive monument and the views must be amazing.

the X marks the lift shaft of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument in this photo

The Victor Emmanuel II Monument



Piazza Venezia


Piazza della Minerva
The church in this piazza was built on the ruins of a temple.  The obelisk was found in the monastery garden of Santa Maria sopra Minerva and was mounted on the back of  the elephant, designed by Bernini and sculpted by Ercole Ferrata.



In the same area is Piazza della Rotonda (below) and the Pantheon.  By the time we arrived there it was early afternoon and the area was so crowded it was difficult to take photos of the exterior of this impressive building although the light was better than it had been earlier in the day.



a vintage postcard shows the Pantheon's facade with its immense portico, columns of granite
 and the piazza with the fountain and obelisk

On entering the building we found that it was also full of visitors. 


The Pantheon, the Roman temple dedicated to 'all the gods', is a marvel of Roman engineering.  Designed by the Emperor Hadrian (AD 118-125) it replaced an earlier temple built by Marcus Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus.  The rotunda's height and diameter are equal 43.3 m (142 ft).  The dome was cast by pouring concrete mixed with tufa and pumice over a temporary wooden framework.  Brick arches embedded in the structure of the wall act as internal buttresses, distributing the weight of the dome.   The hole at the top, the oculus, provides the only light.
In the Middle Ages the Pantheon became a church. The great Master painter and architect, Raphael, is buried here and the tombs of the kings of modern Italy can also be seen.  


The Annunciation  (Melozzo da Forli)

St. Joseph and the Holy Child


The high altar


                 
Bust of Raphael




The Tomb of Raphael (Raffaello da Urbino)  1483-1520

The Adoration of the Shepherds (Francesco Cozza)
The Adoration of the Magi (Francesco Cozza)



Wishing you a good weekend,
Linda :)


17 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful building and the interior is amazing thank you so much for sharing your photos with us:)

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    1. It's an amazing building and one I'm drawn to. On past visits it has been less crowded, but I'm glad I could go with our grandson so that he could experience the grandeur of the immense interior for the first time.

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  2. all of these photos are awe inspiring.. my favorite is the first two and i would love to visit but from the ground, not in the lift. I like the bottom of it, the older rustic look..

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    1. I'm not keen on lifts, but if I had the time and if anyone with me wanted to go up in the lift to see the views I would go with them! Thankfully there are other places in Rome where there are good views over the city although it would mean climbing a hill!

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  3. It really is amazing when you realise how long these buildings have been standing. So many things around them will have changed so drastically over the years, very hard to imagine.

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    1. It's amazing and we're fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit. It was also thrilling to sit in the piazza and see surrounding buildings of a later period that are still hundreds of years old so that the square looks the same as in some of the old paintings and prints.

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  4. Wonderful! Happy Christmas! xx

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    1. Thank you. It's always good to hear from you and I wish you a happy Christmas also.

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  5. Beautiful post Linda. The Pantheon is so amazing, for us it was the most special building we visited in Rome.
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you Janneke. Merry Christmas to you also. The Pantheon is very special and I have happy memories of being in this interesting area of Rome.

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  6. The architecture is just astounding!!! I loved this post- I've not been to Rome so it is lovely to see it!x

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    1. I hope you go to Rome one day and see the amazing structure of the Pantheon, other marvellous buildings and the beautiful art work within them for yourself.

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  7. I loved this post. I walked these places just about 15 months ago, but didn't make it to Rome this year. I love the scenes from the church. It was very hard to see that day, because it was so crowded. I bought the girl for my stable on the side street by the Pantheon where there is a bunch of religious shops. I will never forget the Borghese; its collection contains the most stunning "human" sculptures on earth by Bellini. (Though I do love Michelangelo too.) I did not know someone used his design for the elephant. Merry Christmas xoxo Su

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    1. The Pantheon attracts a lot of tourists although I've never seen it so busy as the last time there. There are a lot of interesting little shops and eating places in the area. We rested at a caffe by the Pantheon where we also bought our bus tickets to return to the rail station. Thank you for letting me know that it's the area where you bought your figurine for your nativity set - very helpful. Did you see the shop 'Pinocchio' that sells wonderful wooden toys and clocks? The owner was carving them at his work bench. Wishing you a lovely Christmas and looking forward to following you in the new year.

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  8. Another fascinating post. What a building, the engineering is astonishing as you say, and to think how long it's been standing. I doubt today's architecture will last very long. How I enjoyed St Joseph and the Holy child and those lovely doves on Raphael's Tomb. You have certainly whetted my appitite for Rome.xxx

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    1. An awesome structure and with beautiful art work, wonderful coloured marble details etc. the Pantheon is well worth a visit when you go to Rome.

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  9. Many thanks for these three posts, Linda. Your lovely photos brought back happy memories of my one and only, unforgettable visit to Rome.

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