March 2014

There are churches all over the city, beautiful and historic


Santa Maria Maggiore, one of only four major basilicas, is a spectacular sight.

It has a Sistene Chapel. It has relics of what is reputed to be the Holy Crib.

It has the tombs of five popes, St. Jerome, and the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The Basilica of Santa Pudenziana was right across the street from our hotel.

It is the oldest place of Christian worship in Rome, dating back to the 4th century
and was the home of the pope until 313.

It was built on the site of a house where the Apostle Peter lived when he arrived in Rome
(see 2 Timothy 4:21).

The mosaics over the altar also date to the 4th century.
Right, Santa Maria sopra Minerva is famous for this Michelangelo scupture
and for the remains of St. Catherine in the glass tomb nearby.

Below, the church of St. Ignatius of Loyola is a baroque masterpiece.

The ceiling is a vibrant trompe-l'oeil.

When the builders ran out of money and couldn't afford a proper dome
they painted the flat ceiling in perspective to look like the inside of a cupola. Tricky!

The Pantheon is a pre-Christian temple, converted into a church in the 7th century.

Inside it is 142 feet high and 142 feet in diameter.

Light and ventilation come from the oculus, an opening in the top, 28 feet across.

It is the resting place of two kings of Italy and the artist / architect Raphael.

Worship services are still held here regularly.

The bustling square in front of the Pantheon is a nice place to stop for lunch.



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