A journey through two millennia of Roman life

by Helen Hooker November. 02, 2017 1634 views

One thing that's very evident in Rome is the sense that you're walking through a living history lesson. In England it's a relatively common occurrence to find churches that are several centuries old but some of the Roman architecture makes them look young!

This morning we walked down to the Pantheon. Originally a temple, the Pantheon is now a church and has been in use constantly since it was built nearly two thousand years ago. The exterior looks somewhat pock marked (and shrouded in much scaffolding - that's why I didn't bother photographing the outside!) but inside it still looks remarkably fresh.

This has to be the most elaborate candlestick holder I've seen in my life!

This has to be the most elaborate candlestick holder I've seen in my life!

The Pantheon's most astonishing feature is its 43 metre dome. The Romans were early large scale adopters of concrete and this dome is a tour de force example of its use. Even now, it's the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world - an unbelievable achievement for a building that's nearly two millennia old. The centre of the dome features an eight metre oculus, which lets in both light and rain water. At the time we visited, it was throwing a pool of light onto the interior of the dome, which proved somewhat challenging to photograph successfully.

The Pantheon looks amazing for a building that's nearly 2000 years old, but I guess the odd crack is to be expected!

The Pantheon looks amazing for a building that's nearly 2000 years old, but I guess the odd crack is to be expected!

I spent an hour or so exploring every detail of this amazing building and determined to return one day, much earlier in the day to avoid the crowds and armed with a seriously wide angle lens too!

From there we continued our meandering, taking in Piazza Navona, various churches and a number of interesting characters en-route, eventually ending up at the Roman Forum.

We found this chap playing his cello outside the Pantheon. He was certainly well prepared, with his own sound system and sunshade!

We found this chap playing his cello outside the Pantheon. He was certainly well prepared, with his own sound system and sunshade!

Meanwhile, this man was sitting on the cobbles painting the view

Meanwhile, this man was sitting on the cobbles painting the view

Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona

Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona

One of the many churches we visited during our trip to Rome. Most were as highly decorated as this one, but I particularly like the way the sun is illuminating the paintings.

One of the many churches we visited during our trip to Rome. Most were as highly decorated as this one, but I particularly like the way the sun is illuminating the paintings.

The enormous collection of buildings; some fairly complete, others just a collection of rubble, were once the heart of ancient Rome. It was fascinating to compare the styles of construction - a mixture of ornate stonework and structures built from millions of small terracotta bricks. Finally we ended up on top of Palatine Hill, looking straight across to the Colosseum, where we'd spent so much time yesterday.

The remains of a Roman road through the Forum

The remains of a Roman road through the Forum

Looking back towards the Colosseum from Palatine Hill

Looking back towards the Colosseum from Palatine Hill

2 November 2017

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Daanish Farhan 3 years, 6 months ago

Beautiful, just beautiful..

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Scribe 3 years, 6 months ago

Stunning perspectives resounding with ancient wisdom and craftsmanship. Such a treat to view. Thanks!

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 3 years, 6 months ago

Great series....

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 3 years, 6 months ago

I can't see any images on P. B., tried changing browser too. Nor on my iPad. I can see my own when I load them, if l try to go back, just blank! I can see peoples' comments and they can clearly see my photos. Can you help because l love Rome. Impossible to get a response from Ram. Mxx

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
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