Archive for March 12th, 2019

March 12, 2019

Church of the Trinity of the Mounts, Rome!

And now I take you back to my eternal Rome, in Italy of course. There are so many old stone to see there with lots of history and architecture features as well. However, I like the open spaces and some special monuments such as the Church of the Trinity of the Mounts.

This is the église de la Trinité des Monts, France in Roma! There are several but I like this one better for its location and feats of faith inside. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok, hope you enjoy it as I do.

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The Church of the Trinity of the Mounts or Trinità dei Monti (Ita) or église de la Trinité des Monts (Fr)  is one of the French national churches of Rome. It is located on the Pincio, at the top of the staircase of the trinity of the mount dominating the Spanish Steps and has a world famous façade with its two symmetrical steeples dating back to 1495. In front of this elevation stands an Egyptian obelisk.  In fact, this obelisk originates from the gardens of Sallust and contains pseudo-hieroglyphs carved by the Roman artisans, imitating the obelisk of Augustus of the Circus Maximus; it seems however that the stone block is of Egyptian origin.

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A bit of history I like

This convent ensemble was founded by king Charles VIII in 1495 for the benefit of the Minimes, in recognition of the assistance of Saint Francis of Paula who came to Plessis-Lez-Tours to try to heal his father Louis XI. He bought four hectares to build a royal convent and a Gothic-style church from 1502 to 1595.

The order of the Minimes settled there until 1828, with an interruption during the French revolution and the First Empire, before being replaced by the Nuns of the Sacred Heart. The Institute of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart in the Trinity of the Monts was one of the most prestigious girls ‘ establishments in Europe for most of the 20C, where the teaching was entirely in French, and the instruction Christian. They closed the convent, which became mixed in 2006 and were replaced by the Brotherhoods of Jerusalem until 2016.

The Church of the Trinity of the Mounts, long abandoned as a result of the collapse of part of the vault, had been reinstated and restored in 1816 thanks to Count de Blacas, the French ambassador to Italy, by artists from France. This church, like that of the ensemble dedicated to Saint Louis of the French, belongs to the pious establishments of France and Lorette. As such, the management and maintenance of this building are the responsibility of the French State.  In the old gardens of Lucullus, a reception house opened in 1975 to welcome Francophone tourists and pilgrims.  On 25 July 2016, agreements were signed in Rome between the Holy See and the French Republic in order to entrust to the Emmanuel community the management of the domain of the Trinity of the Mounts.

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It is in this church, that in 1544, Felipe Neri experienced a mystical experience, that he named his “personal Pentecost” experience that led him to the priesthood and the foundation of the Congregation of the Oratory.

A bit on the interior description.

Since its construction began during the Gothic period, the Church of the Trinity of the Mounts consists of a single nave with seven chapels on each side. Visitors can only visit part of the church because at two-thirds of the nave, a grid rises to limit access to the altar and to several chapels that are reserved for worship.  The chapels are of different styles and are composed of various ornaments. We can observe frescoes and paintings made, for the majority of them, in the 16C. Some, however, are more recent and date from the 19C. Among them, we can underline the frescoes of Naldini on Saint Jean the Baptist, the famous assumption of 1541 by Daniele da Volterra, disciple of Michelangelo, in one of the first chapels, frescoes of the Florentine Perino del Vaga or The monuments Burial of the Orsini Chapel, an important Italian family. I especially recommend you to walk through the chapels and enjoy the art that abound in this church.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Church Trinita dei Monti in English

French Churches in Rome and on the Trinité des Monts

Welcome Center for pilgrims of the Trinity of the Mounts Church

There you go hope again you enjoy it is on a beautiful area of Rome with not only the Piazza di Spagna but the Villa Medici and great views over Rome. A place to visit and a bit of France in Italy!, which was unique for us to see.

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And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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March 12, 2019

The Colosseum or Colosseo of Rome of course!

Ok so I am moving back to old pretty Italy again and of course to my favorite city there Roma , Rome where all started for many ::) I have written several posts over the years on it and as always touch base on a general nature.

I like to bring you a bit more on one of the emblematic monuments of Rome and maybe even Italy; the Colosseum or Colosseo in italian! Much has been written on it elsewhere and everywhere so will give you the basis and the hope you do visit it.

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Of course, the history and architecture is the most for me. The Colosseum,(Colosseo in Italian) originally the Flavian amphitheater, is a huge ovoid amphitheater located in the center of the city of Rome, between the Esquiline and the Caelian, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.  Its construction, just east of the Roman Forum, began between 70 and 72 A.D., under Emperor Vespasian, and ended in 80 AD  under Titus. Further changes were then made during the reign of Domitian 81-96AD. The name of the amphitheater Flavian derives from the surname of Flavii of Emperor Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian.

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It was more likely to accommodate 50 000 spectators , the Colosseum was used for venations (fights of wild animals), the Munera (fights of gladiators) and other public performances, such as executions of condemned to death, reenactments of famous battles and dramas based on Roman mythology. It remained in service for nearly 500 years, the last games extending to the 6C.

The Colosseum continues to give the measure of the ancient power of imperial Rome. Today it is one of the symbols of modern Rome, one of its most popular tourist attractions.

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After the Great fire of Rome in 64 AD, Nero built a sumptuous palace. Having seized land at the bottom of a low valley at the bottom of which ran a channeled stream, between the Caelian, the Esquiline and the Palatine, he built the magnificent Domus Aurea. In front of pavilions, gardens, and porticoes, he created an artificial lake and placed Nero’s colossus palace not far from the entrance to the estate. The pre-existing aqueduct of the Aqua Claudia was extended for the water supply of this area. The lake was filled and the land reused for the construction of the new Flavian Amphitheater which was destined to replace the amphitheater of Statilius Taurus totally ravaged during the great fire of Rome.

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In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV decided that the official policy of the Church would be to make the Colosseum the sacred place where the first Christians were martyred. He forbade the use of the Colosseum as a quarry, and consecrated the edifice to the Passion of Christ and set up a Way of the Cross, declaring it sanctified by the blood of the Christian martyrs who perished there. Today, still has close ties with the Roman Catholic Church as on every Good Friday, the Pope leads a procession to the torches on a way of the cross culminating in the amphitheater. In 2001, a museum dedicated to Eros is located on the upper floor of the building. A part of the floor of the arena is reconstituted in the same year.

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Inside the Colosseum there is the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà al Colosseo which is a place of Catholic worship. Small in size, it is inserted in one of the arcades of the Flavian Amphitheater and was probably built between the 6C and the 7C, although the first certain information about its existence dates back to the 14C. This church has always been a place of worship in memory of the Christian martyrs who lost their lives inside the Colosseum; it was frequented by many Saints, notably Ignatius of Loyola, Felipe Neri and Camille de Lellis.

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Under the French first empire, the façade was reinforced by bricks in 1807 and 1827, with Napoleon I having employed the army in the restoration and excavation of the main monuments of Rome from 1811 to 1814. Following the occupation of Rome, in the second empire Napoleon III continued the restoration and excavation work.

In 1995, the Colosseum started a restoration site, the most important since 1836, whose objective was to reduce the number of fragments of the monument detaching and to open 85% of the monument to the public against 15% in 1995.  Work finally started in 2013, and after a 33-month facelift, during which the travertine façade was hosed with a fine water spray, the symbol of Rome ,if not of Italy gleams creamy white by day and even flushes pink as the sun sets.

Some webpages to help plan your trip here are

Colosseo better buy your tickets ahead in English

Tourist office of Rome on the Colosseum in English

Tourist office Region of Lazio on the Colosseum in English

The Colosseum very good site on the it in English

There you go,now you have a bit more on my blog and I feel better for the credit to this wonderful monument of Rome, the Colosseum. Hope you have enjoyed it and do visit if not done so by now.

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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March 12, 2019

The castle/museum Sant Angelo, Rome!

And bringing you back to eternal Rome, and Italy.  We had great weather when visiting with the family and good memories of certain areas, this is one of them. The Castle museum of Sant Angelo.

Well going to Rome I thought of Roman ruins and narrow streets, great pasta etc. but never figure there was a castle ,even if old as well.  In my trips there on business, I went around the colosseum area, but never into the Vatican areas. This time been a family vacation wandered all over, and caught this wonderful castle near the Vatican. I am talking about the Castel Sant’Angelo.

The castle grounds were done in 135AD and completed in 139AD, the ashes of emperors Hadrian and Augustus are in its stones, and it was done as a mausoleum to house the ones from Hadrian (emperor born in what is today Spain).  The appearances of an angel had a lot to do with the name of the castle.  It passes by the Aurelian walls right into the Vatican area, with a great moat area now with benches and shade trees, up above by the Walls there is a semicircular pathway of beautiful shaded trees and benches with colorful stands selling gelato, and even hot dogs with souvenirs stand with great prices always negotiated down. We purchase t-shirts, scarfs, belts, and caps all starting much higher but always reduce from 3 to 5 euros!

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A bit on the history I like:

Started construction under orders of emperor Hadrian in 135AD  to be his mausoleum, the building is the counterpart of the tomb of Augustus. It was completed by Antoninus Pius in 139AD. The Castle, a massive Rotunda covered with travertine marble, surmounted by a Quadriga bronze figure of the emperor Hadrian . Hadrian’s ashes are deposited in 139AD. Caracalla was the last emperor to be buried. Very quickly, the building is diverted from its funeral purposes to become military. It is integrated into the Aurelian wall in 403, as the advanced bastion.

The Castle Sant Angelo takes its present name from a legend appeared in the 9C, about the great plague of 590AD. The Pope then Grégoire Ire, had an apparition of the Archangel Michael at the top of the Castle, handing his sword to the scabbard, thus signifying the end of the epidemic. To commemorate the event, a statue of an arrow Angel . In 846, the Saracens made a sudden incursion in the town, looted St. Peter’s Basilica and devastate the Borgo. To protect it, Léon IV connects it by a wall to the Castle. The delineated forms the leonine city. The castle is then transformed into prison, where four of the popes of the 9C were killed.  During the long struggle between the Pope and the Emperor, the castle became a refuge for Popes. Gregory VII is entrenched in 1083 to resist to Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and in 1227, Nicolas III built a corridor suspended connecting the castle to the Vatican, thus providing a possibility of quick escapes.

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When urban V from Avignon returns to Rome, he is giving back not the keys to the city but those of the Castle, which reprises his role of fortress protecting the Vatican. The many renovations allow Alexandre VI  to take refuge when Rome was occupied by the King of France Charles VIII in 1494 (first war of Italy) and Clement VII to resist six months at headquarters of the lansquenets of Charles V during the terrible sacking of Rome in 1527. He manages to escape in disguise, by the back door garden Saint-Pierre to reach Orvieto. The castle did not lose its status of a prison.  Until the 19C, the Castle serves as  the papacy political prison, the pontifical flag is brought down for the last time by the Papal troops, under the eyes of the Italian army, which took possession of the castle.

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Restored at the beginning of the 20C, the Castel Sant’Angelo is a museum since 1925, where it houses a collection of paintings and armor. Amongst which are :  Apollo room, decorated with frescoes by Perin del Vaga (1547);  the room of Clement VII (paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries);  the Loggia of Paul III, painted by Antonio da Sangallo the younger. the Loggia of Julius II from 1504;  Paul III Farnèse apartments, decorated between 1542 and 1549  with  frescoes; Salle Pauline decorated of the life of Alexander the great of Marco Pino;  the room of the Adrianeum which houses the Bacchanalia of Dosso Dossi; and the room of garlands, Saint Jerome of Lorenzo Lotto.

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Finally, Giacomo Puccini played on the ramparts of the castle the last scenes of Tosca: Cavaradossi, having dreamed happiness past was shot on the terrace by the firing squad and Floria Tosca of despair, flows of the parapet into the Tiber.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Castel Sant Angelo

Tourist office of Rome on Castle museum Sant Angelo

A must see while in Rome, the Castel Sant Angelo! One of the highlights of our visit and very educational as well. Hope you enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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