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Let us pause for a while and take a peek at the fascinating wonders of nature, the majesty and the glory of God's creation and the spectacle of human engineering. Unfortunately, I cannot go to these places in as much as I want to so, I’m just taking this virtual expedition. I hope you can join me in this online adventure.

-Arnel S. Oroceo, the Author

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Pantheon of Rome, Italy

I have read about the Pantheon in a book by Dan Brown, Angels and Demons. It is where the first cardinal is supposed to be killed by the terrorist. The unfolding events in the story have aroused my interest about how the Pantheon looks like.

The Pantheon’s dome is said to be the largest un-reinforced concrete dome in the world. It has been used as a Roman Catholic Church since the 7th century dedicated to St Mary and the Martyrs although originally, it has been built by Marcus Agrippa as a temple for the gods of ancient Rome then later rebuilt by Hadrian in 126 AD.

Inside the Dome
Raphael's Bust above his tomb
I have learned from the Dan Brown book that Raphael, the renowned painter has been buried inside the Pantheon. Although, I do not know which details from the book are true and accurate. Anyways, it is just for fun in reading.

The Pantheon must be an amazing place to see because of its age and historical value. How I wish I can tour that place too someday!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Vatican Museums

One of the most famous tourist destinations in Rome, Italy are the Vatican Museums. On record, the Vatican Museums receive more than 4 million visitors a year. For me, one of the remarkable sections of the museums is the spiral staircase. I have not been there but I am amazed as I see it in photographs.

“The Vatican Museums trace their origin to one marble sculpture, purchased 500 years ago. The sculpture of Laocoön, the priest who, according to Greek mythology, tried to convince the people of ancient Troy not to accept the Greeks' "gift" of a hollow horse, was discovered 14 January 1506, in a vineyard near the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Pope Julius II sent Giuliano da Sangallo and Michelangelo Buonarroti, who were working at the Vatican, to examine the discovery. On their recommendation, the pope immediately purchased the sculpture from the vineyard owner. The pope put the sculpture of Laocoön and his sons in the grips of a sea serpent on public display at the Vatican exactly one month after its discovery”. (wikipedia)

This is one place that I want to see for real. The collection of artifacts and sculptures arouse my imagination and interest. Unfortunately, going there physically is something I cannot do but at least through this virtual journey, I can say at least, I have been there.

Photograph by Artlover’s
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I am not a Catholic but places where I can trace the history of the church attract me. Rome may not be the origin of Christianity but it has played an immense influence in the lives of the early saints and the early church.

Those who are interested to visit the Vatican Museums, here is a link to their official website. Just click the image below.

The two images at the top are courtesy of Wikipedia
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