Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spanish Steps in Roma

The Spanish Steps, also known as Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti in Italian, are among the most famous images in history. They are found in Italy, Rome. They climb a steep slope from Piazza di Spagna at the bottom side to the Dei Monte at the top where the Trinita church stands. They are a popular tourist attraction and had the highest number of visitors in the city during the Renaissance period.

The 135 steps of the stairway were built with 20,000 scudi of Etienne’s bequeathed funds between 1723 and 1725. They link the Spanish Embassy and the Trinita church. Alessandro Francesco Sanctis are the two architects responsible for designing the stairway.

Cardinal Mazarin later took an interest in the project which had been clearly stipulated in the will of Gueffier. He entrusted it to an agent who had a plan of including a Louis XIV monument. The inclusion was not accepted by the papal Rome. After the death of Mazarin in 1661, Gueffier’s nephew claimed half of the will which rendered the project dormant. Pope Clement is the one who renewed some interest in it.

 The Early Baroque fountain at the base, Piazza di Spagna, was built between 1627 and 1629. Pietro Bernini was credited for its construction, with his son said to have helped in the decoration. He had been an architect for the pope since 1623, on the Acqua Vergine project.

The stairway was constructed after many generations of heated arguments over how urbanized the steep slope should be. Drawings found in archives from around 1580 show the interests of Pope Gregory in constructing stairs to a fa├žade of the church. Gasper also had his own idea in 1963, of a wooded slope, which is still conserved in Rome.

To get to the Spanish Steps, take the red line by metro and make your exit at Spagna. The Spanish Steps are right next to the station. Many buses will only get to Piazza del Popolo or Barberini, a walking distance of about 10 minutes away.

The Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon building is one of the best preserved buildings from the ancient Rome times, found in Rome, Italy. It is a temple which is dedicated to the pagan Rome gods. It is another of the marvelous projects of Emperor Hadrian. Its architecture has very fascinating features, a factor that contributes to how much it stands out. It had a sculpture acting out the Titans battle and gold covering its bronze doors, all which disappeared a long time ago.

The cella has large doors made of bronze and were once covered in gold. The doors are quite ancient, although they are not the original doors. The doors that are currently there were mounted in the 15th century.

Originally, steps were used to approach the building. Constructions later raised the ground level which eliminated the steps. Bronze relief sculpture decorated the pediment, with the holes that mark the location of the sculpture’s clamps indicating that the design was probably an eagle.

732 workers took more than three years to build the Pantheon. The granite columns on the porch were actually quarried in the eastern mountains of Egypt. The 60 tons columns were each dragged for more than 62 miles on sledges to rive Nile. They were then floated using barge to the Mediterranean Sea where vessels carried them to Ostia, a Roman port. Further transportation on barges took place up the River Tiber to Rome where rollers were then used to drags them to site.

The pantheon, built at the center of Rome, is a short walking distance from the Via del Corso, Tiber River and many more attractions. Buses can’t reach the Pantheon because the streets are too narrow. No metro station is found nearby.  64, 60 and 40 are among the many buses that shuttle between the city centre and the Vatican.