Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Pantheon

The Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD) and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD.[2]

The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft).

It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” but informally known as “Santa Maria Rotonda”.

The interior of the dome was possibly intended to symbolize the arched vault of the heavens. The oculus at the dome’s apex and the entry door are the only natural sources of light in the interior. Throughout the day, the light from the oculus moves around this space in a reverse sundial effect. The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. During storms, a drainage system below the floor handles the rain that falls through the oculus.

The dome features sunken panels (coffers), in five rings of 28. This evenly spaced layout was difficult to achieve and, it is presumed, had symbolic meaning, either numerical, geometric, or lunar. In antiquity, the coffers may have contained bronze stars, rosettes, or other ornaments.

Circles and squares form the unifying theme of the interior design. The checkerboard floor pattern contrasts with the concentric circles of square coffers in the dome. Each zone of the interior, from floor to ceiling, is subdivided according to a different scheme. As a result, the interior decorative zones do not line up. The overall effect is immediate viewer orientation according to the major axis of the building, even though the cylindrical space topped by a hemispherical dome is inherently ambiguous. This discordance has not always been appreciated, and the attic level was redone according to Neoclassical taste in the 18th century.Wikipedia

Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Rome, Italy

Church of St. Mary Magdalene

The Santa Maria Maddalena is a Roman Catholic church in Rome, named after Saint Mary Magdalene. It is located on the Via della Maddalena, one of the streets leading from the Piazza della Rotonda in the Campo Marzio area of historic Rome.

The Order of Saint Camillus de Lellis had a church at that location in Rome since 1586 and in the 17th century started the construction of the current church, which was completed in 1699 in the Baroque style.

In seventy years of work several architects were involved including Carlo Quadri, Carlo Fontana (who is thought to have designed the dome) and Giovanni Antonio de Rossi. It is uncertain who designed the curved main facade, which was finished circa 1735 and is Rococo, an unusual style in Roman church facades. It also displays motifs reminiscent of Borromini.

The interior is architecturally complex, it has a Borrominesque elongated octagonal nave, with two chapels at each flank. To the right is the main chapel dedicated and holding the relics of Saint Camillus. In this Chapel the vault was frescoed (1744) by Sebastiano Conca. The church also has a Christ, Virgin, and St. Nicolas of Bari by Baciccia and a San Lorenzo Giustiniani with Infant Jesus by Luca Giordano. The rococo sacristy is elaborately painted, stuccoed, and decorated with polychrome marble.Wikipedia