Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lo-Tiv-Ro Tour Day 11

Our days are starting to slip away and we are on the home stretch. Today, I needed to visit one of the main sites in Rome that I had not been to yet.....The Colosseum. Both Audrey and Lisa decided to come with me even though they had both been there before they figured it couldn't hurt to see it again, so we got ourselves around and headed over there early-ish in the morning to try and beat the heat and the crowds.

Some bas relief sculpture that has survived:
A view of Palatine Hill and the Forum from within the Colosseum:

The Colosseum, although originally started in 72 AD and completed in 80 AD. During the 12th Century, it was used as a castle by the Frangipani family. However, parts of it were destroyed during an earthquake in 1349. In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV endorsed the Colosseum as a sacred site and forbade the use of the Colosseum as a quarry as much of it over time had been destroyed and removed to build palaces among other things. Below is a cross carved into the wall, this is one of a number of crosses that can be found throughout the Colosseum.

After we left the Colosseum, we wandered around and found a spot to have a drink and Lisa had a bite to eat. We then found the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri. Now this is not one of the oldest churches or one of the best known, but it is old and has some pretty cool stuff.
Notice the two doors. They are bronze doors created in 2006 by Polish-born sculptor Igor Mitoraj and are really quite amazing.
Door on the right:
Close up of the detail:
Detail of the door on the left:
Inside of the church is a meridian line which acts as a sundial and calendar:
The sun comes through a little spot at the top of the church (see the section in bronze to at the top to the left of the corner and just below the arch) which marks the spot on the calendar floor when the sun is shining through.
As with all these basilicas, the size and grandeur are amazing.
This is a shot of the stained glass window inside, which again is a much more modern addition to the church. There were not a lot of stained glass windows in these churches, as I recall.
After we left the church we went in search of a place to exchange British pounds to Euros as both Audrey and Lisa had large sums in pounds. Once the financial business was addressed, we went to a restaurant that was on the roof of a building and had a bite to eat. I had a 5-cheese pizza, which would have been really good except for one of the cheeses was Gorgonzola and I am NOT a fan of stinky cheeses. Audrey had some pasta and then a chocolate torte for dessert:  
After our meal, there was one church that both Lisa and Audrey wanted to be certain that I saw. It was Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of this church as we were not allowed to take pictures inside of it. This church is most famous as an ossuary, known as the Capuchin Crypt. Inside this crypt are the bones of 4,000 friars, which decorate the walls and ceilings in a macabre, yet elaborate and fascinating, scenes of death, the grim reaper, etc. There is a plaque in one of the chapels the reads: What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be. Pretty creepy, right? 

We then headed back to the hotel and then later to wander the neighborhood again. And, since I don't want to leave you without a final picture, here is another example of the stonework on the buildings:


SAngRiA Smiles said...

that stained glass is beautiful!

torte looks amazing. mmmmmm

Jane said...

Loving this

Kim Thomas said...

The Colosseum looks amazing