- [Health] It’s World AIDS Day.
- [Home] This Kleenex holder built into your pillow would be a great addition to napkin bedspread I mentioned yesterday.
- [Cool architecture] This cactus building gives everyone light and a terrace. I love it.
The amazing thing about Rome is that you can turn a corner anywhere in the city and be met by something whose dust alone dates back to your great-grandparents.
And so I want to pay a homage to these great Roman buildings, when having “light” inside meant utilizing the best natural light in the solar system: the Sun. I actually think that the artificial lights inside some churches are saddening as your experience is so different from that of hundreds of years ago.
This “window” is a part of the Terme di Caracalla, the Baths of Caracalla. The baths are an excellent example how advanced the Romans were with architecture, and gives some great insights into their culture as well. If you go to the baths, I recommend reading up ahead or bringing a book with you because the on-site information is pretty scarce, and it really is fascinating to hear about the different rooms they used and the exercise/cleansing rituals they performed. (An online virtual tour if you’re interested)
The Pantheon is one of my favorite buildings and its oculus is a fascination for me as well. There is a lot of explanation for its use, from everything to a built-in ventilation system to symbolism for the sun, but I like to add my own interpretations when I am there and follow its path across the floor. And then get an ice cream. A 3D virtual tour.
Continuing on our virtual Rome tour, we’re next headed to the Roman Forum, which I really enjoy but there’s always a fine line between being entranced and being overwhelmed. Usually I realize the overwhelmed part too late and I need to leave to really reflect on what I’ve just seen. Which I why I can enjoy this picture so much – with nothing else around, this might have been the same view that millions of people in thousands of years enjoyed before I had. (360degree view)
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most amazing buildings in the world in my opinion, and especially in the way it uses light to interact with the “worshiper’s” experience. If you’ve never been there, there is a stained-glass dove at the very end of the church surrounded by warm red and gold colors, which are technically 12 “rays” which symbolize the apostles. (You can see it here) On a bright day, it pulls you towards it like you are seeking out the sun between buildings. I have used so much film trying to get the perfect shot of this sight, this feeling, but I’ve never been satisfied. And I’ve been happy to return to keep trying.
Instead it is this shot that captured something for me that day. That any person in that huge church, surrounded by hundreds of other worshipers, curiosity seekers and tourists, could find a moment to pause and reflect.