Atlantis Alumni

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Must See In Rome

One of the amazing things about Rome is that the visitor is surrounded not only by history but also by architecture that represents all the ages of the Eternal City. Down the block from our hotel, the Quirinale, one can walk by the 20th century Opera. Ruins of Imperial Rome are everywhere, and they inspired great architecture around the world. The most famous symbol of Rome, the Colosseum, was one of our stops yesterday. After the Empire fell, Christianity gained a firmer foothold, and early Christian churches were built. During the late Middle Ages churches were built in the Romanesque style and once in a great while here, also in the Gothic manner. But the Renaissance, inspired by developments in Tuscany, came to Rome in the 16th century. Great Renaissance palaces and basilicas, like St. Peter’s itself, were erected under the powerful popes. The final overwhelming Roman style, the Baroque is perhaps the widest seen architectural manner to be seen here, and it dominated the 17th and 18th centuries. One church that combines many of these styles, layered like an onion, is Santa Maria Maggiore, also near our hotel. We visited the grand basilica yesterday. Jim was amazed at the Early Christian mosaics above the arcade and in the apse, which are well preserved. The nave’s floor stone mosaics and coffered ceiling are both Renaissance, and many decorations and chapels are done in a high, elaborate Baroque style. Despite all these architectural overlays, the church feels like a magnificent unity inside. The interior is shown in Jim’s photos.-Dan

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