Posts tagged ‘Church’

St Peter’s Basilica

The original church built on the site where St Peter is supposed to be buried, dates back to AD349 during the reign of the Emperor Constantine, Rome’s first Christian Emperor. However the church we see today (easily the richest and most spectacular Church I’ve ever visited….and I’ve seen a few) was largely built during the 16th and 17th centuries. 

If the Sistine Chapel was a bit of a disappointment – see previous post – St Peter’s Basilica made up for this in spades. It is quite simply magnificent. Although, like the Vatican Museums, it attarcts a lot of tourists, because it is so vast you never really feel crammed-in and that certainly helps to create a positive impression.

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

The Unknown Church

Rome contains hundreds of churches and we wondered in and out of a few during our visit…….for some of which I completely forgot to make a note of the name. So this is only an unknown church by virtue of the fact that I have no idea what its called. However it does have an impressive interior, so I thought I would share these images regardless:

Unknown Church, Rome, Italy

Unknown Church, Rome, Italy

Unknown Church, Rome, Italy

Unknown Church, Rome, Italy

Unknown Church, Rome, Italy

Unknown Church, Rome, Italy

Unknown Church, Rome, Italy

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

Pantheon – Interior

The interior of the Pantheon is all about the magnificent roof. At 43.3m in diameter (which exactly matches the interior height, giving the building it’s wonderful balance and symmetry) it is the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built. In fact until the 15th Century it was the largest dome anywhere in the world, only surpassed by the massive cupola of the Duomo in Florence.

At the centre of the dome is an 8.7m wide oculus, which serves a number of purposes. The most important of which is the vital structural role it plays in re-distributing the huge tensile forces caused by the unsupported dome. Second it creates a symbolic connection between the temple/church and the Gods/heaven. Finally it creates a very physical connection between the worshippers and the elements, most notably by flooding the central rotunda with amazing light (even on a cloudy day) but also of course by letting in the rain…which fortunately we didn’t encounter on the day we visited. 

The interior of the Pantheon is hugely impressive and it is little wonder that it’s considered ancient Rome’s most important architectural achievement and has subsequently proved one of the most influential buildings ever constructed.

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

Pantheon – Exterior

Built about 2,000 years ago as a temple to all the Gods – hence the name Pantheon from the Greek pan (all) and theos (god) – it was subsequently consecrated as a Christian church in AD 608 and is now officially known as the Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres.

I’ve seen images of the Pantheon plenty of times before in books, magazines and on TV, but until I saw it “in the felsh” I didn’t really appreciate how impressive it was. For one thing it’s much bigger than I thought and for another it’s amazingly well preserved considering, in it’s current form, it dates back to AD 125. In fact the Pantheon was my favourite of all the places we visited in Rome……

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

 

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

Pantheon, Rome, Italy, Europe

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

St Mary’s Tower and Cammell Laird

If you don’t know the Wirral it might seem a little odd to put these two subjects together, but St Mary’s Tower (which shares the same site as the 12th Century Birkenhead Priory) stands next door to Cammell Laird’s shipbuilders. Also the tower itself is dedicated as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the 1939 disaster aboard the Laird’s built submarine Thetis.

The second and third shots were taken from the top of St Mary’s tower pictured in the first image below:

St Mary's Tower, Birkenhead, Wirral, England

Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, Wirral, England

Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, Wirral, England

Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, Wirral, England

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Cartmel Priory

Cartmel is a picturesque historic village in south Cumbria, England, famous for its 12th Century Augustinian Priory:

Cartmel Priory

It is also famous for its Sticky Toffee Pudding and for being home to Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Enclume – one of many 50th birthday treats for my lovely wife, Lizzy.

© Mark Simms Photography (2014)

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