Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Rome, day 5 - Santa Maria degli Angeli, Bone Church and Spanish Steps

We headed past the termini towards Santa Maria degli Angeli, and spotted the Fontana della Naiadi on the Piazza della Repubblica.

The basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli contains the remains of Diocletian's baths.

And quite a few pink granite columns.

The church also contains the Meridian line that was used to regulate time in Rome until 1846.

The meridian line was designed by Francesco Bianchini and was completed in 1702. It was commissioned by Pope Clement XI so he could check the accuracy of the calendar reformation, to predict Easter, and give Rome a meridian line as important as the one in Bologna. There’s a small hole in the wall and at the solar noon the light shines through this hole onto the meridian line – at the summer solstice, it’s close to the wall, but at the winter solstice it’s at the far end of the line. Here's my Taurean next to his star sign.

And my Scorpion near hers.

And there’s a familiar ceiling here…

…. with beautiful glazing.

Then to the Piazza Berberini, where we saw the Triton fountain, designed by Bernini in 1643.

Next, we visited Santa Maria della Concezione.

The crypt is known as the bone church and contains the remains of 4,000 Capuchin monks who died 1528-1870. They were buried in soil imported from Jerusalem; when the soik ran out they were left uncovered and their bones were made into decorations, including the lamps. No photographs allowed, so here are postcards we bought.

The hooded monks are tiny, not much bigger than ten-year-olds.

And even the ceilings are decorated with bones...

From there, we headed up to the TrinitĂ  dei Monti for a view over the Piazza Spagna.

Then walked down the Spanish Steps to see the fountain at the bottom.

The steps were commissioned by the French ambassador in 1723 (built in 1725) and took their name from the fact that the Spanish ambassador's headquarters had been in the square.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Gosh you took in some fab sights Kate, not to mention all that walking. But what a great experience for you all. It looks as if it wasn't too busy as well which makes sightseeing some much more better. Caroline x