Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pantheon

The Pantheon - I have heard it mentioned. It seems to be something important, but I will be completely honest with you and say that when we decided to go and visit the Pantheon, I had no idea what I was looking for, or why we were seeing it.

After travelling this long, I am sorry to say, we are becoming somewhat disenchanted with the wonder of all these great buildings, and art, and culture. I can only stay in a state of awe for so long, and then everything tastes the same (even though I am fully aware that it isn't!)


However, sometimes not knowing about something before you see it makes the experience more spectacular. Expectations cannot be disappointed when they haven't yet come into being. 

 That is what happened with the Pantheon. Even from the outside I was thinking "Hey another Roman building. And look it has columns. Big columns that are the nicest I have seen, but really at the end of the day, just columns."
 And so we took some pictures with the big, beautiful columns. They are impressive - they are solid marble. Most columns in Rome were pieces stacked on each other, or just veneers. But these are the real thing. Ooh and aah at the pretty, massive marble columns.

 And this door was also very impressive. I was starting to loose my sense of ennui.
And then we got to the dome. Ennui is instantly replaced with Awe, wonder, and as Owen would say "What the crap for crap?!"
The Tourist information says that this dome is perfect in geometric proportions - a perfect sphere contained within a perfect cube. While I can appreciate that, it honestly doesn't make much of a difference to me. But I can tell you that the perfect is perceived. There is order here, and logic. 

 The marble on the floor was also beautiful - reminding us what all Roman buildings (which we see now only as ruins) must have been like.
 The Pantheon has been preserved because it was converted into a church - it has been in continuous use since it was built.

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