Extraordinary

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Here is my response to WordPress’ weekly photo challenge: “(Extra)ordinary.”

I thought for a while about what I might have seen this year that was extraordinary. I was reminded of my trip back in May when I took my Mum to Rome.  She had a desire to see the Trevi Foundation whilst I was determined we would go to the Pantheon and see its amazing brick-built dome; the largest unsupported dome in the world.  My mother was rather blank about this place I kept mentioning. Luckily it wasn’t that far from the Trevi Fountain and with lots of eateries in the small roads around it an ideal lunch destination.

I have been to the Pantheon once before; some 9 years ago the day after my 40th birthday.  I was in Rome on a mad work trip which lasted little more than 24 hours.  Our hosts were so determined that I should see the sights that we did a tour of Rome at midnight which was quite magical but the Pantheon was the one place we couldn’t look inside at that time of night.

I am so glad that I insisted we went to the Pantheon.  It was the highlight of the trip for me.  I found the vastness of the interior awesome especially when you think it was built around 125 AD in the reign of Hadrian, he of the long wall. The opening at the top of the roof is 8.8m in diameter that’s 28.87 ft ; the total diameter is 43.2m (141.73ft). Added to this is its religious significance. I’m not a religious person but whatever your faith or lack of faith you cannot help but be moved by the religious imagery throughout the building.

The Pantheon – a truly extraordinary place.

 

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Pauline says:

    Did you know that a bomb fell through the opening at the top, rolled around the church, but thank goodness, didn’t explode! It really is an amazing building.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Pauline
      No I didn’t but that is amazing and it is amazing how much survived the Second World War in Rome anyway

  2. Extraordinary indeed. Yet another place I want to get to!

  3. Leya says:

    It is, indeed, extraordinary. I’m glad you insisted.

  4. Julieanne says:

    It does sound extraordinary. I’m not religious at all, but I do find religious buildings are often very beautiful and contain within them a wonderful exploration of history and peoples of the past. And to build a large unsupported dome pre industrial age – extraordinary.

  5. I’m not religious, but I am always impressed by the shrines and temples in any religion on this scale that are designed to draw you closer to a divine being. They really help me to understand religion and it’s importance to people.

  6. Linda says:

    Yes the Pantheon is an extraordinary place! In fact, the whole of Rome is with ancient artifacts seemingly on every street corner! I love your photo, so atmospheric.

  7. Cathy says:

    Glad you made it and that it proved to reward you with such an extraordinary experience. Intruiging to read about the bomb!

  8. Søren says:

    I love that building.

    The dome, though, is not brick but concrete. A feat that would not be replicated until the advent of reinforced concrete in the 20th century…

    I went to Rome this past summer, choosing my hotel purely so I could walk to the Pantheon every morning and see that amazing light. I went there every day for 8 days and never tired of the building.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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