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 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,