Monday, August 22, 2011

In Rome, History Is Everywhere

Piazzo della Republica

One of the wonders of Rome is surely that ancient, modern and the millenia-in-between are mashed together cheek by jowl. Even within one building eras overlap.

The Piazzo della Republica shown here is a case in point. The Baths of Diocletian  (300 AD) overlook a modern traffic circle that surrounds the Fountain of the Naiads (1870) with frolicking nymphs (installed 1901-11). The water for the fountain is piped in through the Acqua Marcia, an aqueduct built by the ancient Romans in 144 BC. 

The Fountain of the Naiads, Piazzo della Republica

Inside the Baths of Diocletian, the central hall was converted into a church. The work was based on a design by Michelangelo, who died before it was finished in 1566. His work was later modified by Vanvitelli and that is what we see today.

The large central hall of the Baths of Diocletian, now Santa Maria degli Angeli church  

Even old trees are venerated in Rome. In a cloister behind the Baths of Diocletian, which was also designed by Michelangelo, this centuries old cypress shades a fountain that was built in 1695.

In Rome, even old trees are venerated

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to see that sometimes the order of aesthetics needs to take a back seat to respect for the endurance of life.