Oct
15
2012
0

Piazza Del Popolo

images1People’s Square, located between the Pincio hill and Tiber River is embellished with churches, monuments and fountains. The Via Flaminia highway constructed in 220 BC to connect Rome to the north starts from this square. In 1562 Pope Pius IV made enhancements to the old gate in order to improve the look and impress visitors.

Piazza del Popolo is featured by twin churches (St Mary of Miracles and St Mary in Montesanto), an Egyptian obelisk and three streets projecting from the square into the city center.

The similar churches, that lead to the heart of the city past Via del Corso, were commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1658. Though they look identical, one is slightly bigger than the other.

In 1589, Pope Sixtus V erected 23,2m high obelisk at the center of the square which was originally brought to Rome from the sun temple in Heliopolis (Egypt); by Emperor Augustus around 10 BC.

Giuseppe Valadier (1811-1822) once more did the necessary restyling of the old square made in 1572. Bernini again redesigned the massive gate to the north (opening to Via Flaminia), as a sign of gratitude by Pope Alexander VII to Queen Christina’s of Sweden conversion to Roman Catholicism.

The square is close to Villa Borghese, easily accessible by metro, walking distance from the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso (not-cheap shopping street).


Adu K

Oct
05
2012
0

St Paul Outside The Walls

st paulOnce upon a time, Saul (desired) who was born in Tarsus went to live in Israel. He was trained to be a hardliner, who would defend Jewish religion at any cost.

In the early ministry of Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem, Saul unconsciously became anti-Christ. He persecuted those who believed on Jesus.

Saul decided to go to Damascus (Syria) to persecute disciples of Jesus. On the way to Damascus Jesus revealed himself to Saul, Saul fell on the earth.

Saul was led to Damascus – for the Splendor of Christ blinded him. Jesus used Hananiah to baptize and give his sight back.

Saul humbled himself before God, testified the death and Resurrection of Jesus for forgiveness of sins to everyone without favor (Jews, Greeks or Gentiles). In the years to follow, Saul was persecuted for his firm faith on Lord Jesus Christ.

Saul ministered in Asia minor, Greece and Rome. He wrote many powerfull books in the New Testament. He spoke fluent Greek and Hebrew. Eventually he was called Paul (small/little).

Paul was beheaded by Nero (67 A.D.) in Rome. It is said Paul’s pupils erected a memorial for him. This memorial eventually became a church (St Paul Outside The Walls) for it is outside the Aurelian walls.

St Paul complex is one of the four main basilicas in Rome: St John Lateran, St Maria Maggiore and St Peter. Paul’s tomb is believed to be right below the altar in the church.



Adu K

Oct
04
2012
0

Piazza Navona

… continuation of the above article

the factores that render this square admirable:piazza navona

4. Legend

A. Costanza de Cupis, was an adorable woman with beautiful hands. When an abbot saw the replica of her hands made by craftsman, said ‘If these hands where for real they would be cut.’ She heard about the curse and from that time on ward she lived in anguish and fear. One day she pricked her hand with a needle and her hand was cut because of infection.

B. Sant’ Agnes in Aragone, a young lady refused to marry a Roman prefect’s son and was threatened to be exposed of her faith in Jesus. She stayed on faith and was thrown naked into a brothel. Men who visited her were not able to see her naked, nevertheless the prefect’s son along with others came to mock her but he was hit with blindness. A lieutenant tried to kill Agnes first by fire but later he killed her with a sword.

5. Pasquino ‘talking statue’

Since 1501, Romans attached anonymous satirical messages against the Pope, aristocrats or his government below Pasquino. His origin remains unclear: a barber, a tailor or a shoemaker.

Popes were not sympathetic with Pasquino. Infact, Pope Adrian VI planned to throw the statue into river Tiber but feared uproar of Romans and later he assigned guards to stop people attaching messages but people used other talking statues. Benedict XII also tried to impose punishments on those who posted messages.



Adu K

Sep
29
2012
0

Trevi Fountain

imagesThe 26 meters high and 20 meters wide fountain is one of the most admired fountains in the world. Numerous attempts have been made to make the present fountain as magnificent as it is today.

All started in 19 B.C. when Marqus Agrippa built an aqueduct -Acqua Vergine- that provides pure drinking-water to the city of Rome. The Acqua Vergine acqueduct comes from Alban Hill, 13 km to the east of Rome, ending in the Quirinal Hill.

In 1453, Leon Battista Alberti financed by Pope Nicholas V, made a basin at the end of the Acqua Vergine (now called Trevi Fountain).

In 1629 Pope Clement XII appointed Gian Lorenzo Bernini to make necessary improvements to the works started by Leon Battista, unfortunately the works came to an end after the pope died.

Hundred years after the second attempt, Alessandro Galilei won a bid to make a better fountain but his opponent -Nicola Salvi- was awarded the mission because Romans murmured against Galilei (Florentine) who won away-commission.

Salvi died in 1751, leaving the work unfinished. The fountain was finished in 1762 by Guiseppe Pannini when Oceanus (god of all water) was fitted in place.



Adu K

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