Thursday, July 23, 2015

Repubblica, Quattro Fontane, and Pantheon

After walking around one day, we got on the metro and instead of going back to our apartment, we decided just to ride along and get off in a different part of town.  We found ourselves in the Repubblica area and spent an hour or so exploring.

At the intersection of Via del Quirinale and Via delle Quattro Fontane are four unusual corner fountains. Commissioned by Pope Sixtus V and built between 1588 and 1593, they represent the Tiber River (the symbol of Rome), the Arno River (the symbol of Florence), Juno (the symbol of fortitude) and Diana (the symbol of faithfulness).

I couldn't get a good angle to get a photo of Tiber because of all the people and traffic.
Then on to the Pantheon, one of the best preserved ancient Roman buildings.  This particular structure was completed by the emperor Hadrian around 126 AD but retained the original inscription from an earlier building from the time of  Augustus (27 BC to 14 AD) which has caused some confusion about when it was actually built.  (Either way, wow!  Amazing it's still standing!)
It contains the world's largest un-reinforced concrete dome (hard to get a picture with the sun streaming in!) and the only natural light inside the building comes from the oculus at the top of the dome and the front doors.

And it has been in continuous use throughout its history.

The inside is quite beautiful and is in use today as a Catholic church dedicated to St. Mary and the martyrs.  As with many of the sights in Rome, I am just amazed that this ancient place is still standing and still functional as a part of the community of today. 


Suzassippi said...

Love this "tour" too! However, I am starting to wonder how come they had so much time to just loll around on couches, pouring out water. (You think that is the "American" in me?)

Anonymous said...

LOL Yes, we are way too driven, apparently. :) Of course, the gods and the ruling classes were free to lie around all they wanted while the slaves and peasants did the heavy lifting.