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Pantheon and the Piazza della Rotonda – Rome

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a Catholic church (also called Santa Maria Rotonda), on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. He retained Agrippa’s original inscription, which has confused its date of construction as the original Pantheon burnt down so it is not certain when the one now standing was built.

It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, mainly because it has been in continuous use. Masses are celebrated there on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda. This was a small crowd compared to other places we went too:

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The Fontana del Pantheon, constructed in 1575:

My Rome Flickr album. More to come.

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Siena

To get into the historical centre of this stunning town, we parked our rental car outside the old city and then rode a series of indoor escalators to get up the hill. My full photo album is at www.flickr.com/photos/97210148@N08/albums/72157674701771213.

Piazza del Campo

The main public square, a shell-shaped piazza, of the historic centre of Siena; a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The twice-a-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the piazza, and has featured in the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) and Torre del Mangia (tower)

Built in 1338-1348, the 88 meter tall tower was built to be exactly the same height as the Siena Cathedral as a sign that the church and the state had equal amounts of power. Literally meaning ‘Tower of the Eater’.

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The Fonte Gaia (“Fountain of the World”)

An endpoint of the system of conduits bringing water to the city’s centre. Built in 1419 it replaced an earlier fountain completed about 1342. The side reliefs depict episodes from Genesis: The Creation of Adam and The Flight from the Garden of Eden. The wolves spouting water, represent the mother-wolf of Remus and Romulus.

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Medieval streets of old Siena

Duomo in Siena (Siena Cathedral)

Built between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure, the gothic cathedral is in the form of a Latin cross with a slight projecting dome and bell tower. The exterior and interiors are decorated in white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, black and white being the symbolic colors of Siena.

 

Napenape

Inspired by reading an article in The Press, we decided it was worth the 90 minute drive from Christchurch.  www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/nz/69262577/forgotten-north-canterbury-beach-is-brilliant-at-dawn.html

Napenape was an important place for Māori living in Canterbury, The coast is fringed with spectacular limestone cliffs and the beaches are strewn with limestone boulders.

Click on each of the images to see the full-size photos. And some more photos are at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskhgun6N.

Photos © Dianne MacCormick.