Rome: mostly churches actually

So this is the Pantheon. It was built as a Roman temple in the 2nd century, replacing an earlier building.

In 609, the Byzantine emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV, who converted it into a Christian church and consecrated it to St. Mary and the Martyrs on 13 May 609: “Another Pope, Boniface, asked the same [Emperor Phocas, in Constantinople] to order that in the old temple called the Pantheon, after the pagan filth was removed, a church should be made, to the holy virgin Mary and all the martyrs, so that the commemoration of the saints would take place henceforth where not gods but demons were formerly worshipped.”

Inside I found it rather underwhelming. It’s just another church. I mean, it’s nice enough but I’m glad I didn’t have to pay or queue to get in.

The nearby Chiese di Santa Maria Maddalena was more impressive.

After the Pantheon, I just went for a walk, and looked at fountains and churches and things.

I’m not sure what’s going on with those two angel statues, but it looks interesting. In the background, the Castel Sant’Angelo is for another day.


It’s… another church. (Chiesa di San Girolamo dei Croati)

The Mausoleum of Augustus. All over the city, it’s all Augustus this and Augustus that. You’d think he was the first emperor or something. (There were others buried here too.)

Another church 🙂  “Chiesa della SS. Trinita”

These are the Spanish Steps, which are another popular attraction for some reason. They’re just steps and there are a lot of them. And guess what’s at the top?

The Trinità dei Monti church is the church of the Kings of France.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto & Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli (right). Only the latter was open.

I had some company for lunch.

That basilica didn’t seem to be open, which was annoying as it was actually the one I’d come looking for. But the  Leonardo da Vinci museum was a bonus.

It has models of da Vinci’s inventions. (I think this is the same as a travelling exhibition that came to Hobart years ago and I wasn’t able to see it, which was disappointing.

Largo di Torre Argentina is a square in Rome, Italy, with four Roman Republican temples and the remains of Pompey’s Theatre. . . . Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Curia of Pompey, and the spot where he is believed to have been assassinated is in the square.

More importantly, there’s a cat sanctuary here. They Trap-Neuter-Release the city’s stray/feral cats, and then feed and care for them here.

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