Saturday, July 24, 2010

Santa Maria degli Angeli

We have been trying to find the church that contains the Bernini sculpture  
The Ecstasy of St. Theresa. I thought I had when we found this church.
Not so but this was yet one more grand find.

The story goes: In 1541, a Sicilian priest, Fr. Antonio Lo Duca, had a vision
of angels in the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian. As a result, Pope Pius IV (1559-1565)
ordered that a church be built within the Baths. The church was designed by Michelangelo,
who began work in 1563 but died a year later in 1564. His design was completed
by Jacopo Lo Duca, nephew of Fr. Antonio and pupil of Michelangelo.

They say the frescoes have been badly restored.
I guess my eye is not so keen.



My favorites, as always are the angels. Here are two.

And finally, there were some unchurchly findings in this church, more science than spiritual unless those combine well to your way of thinking. 

On the left side of the church is the Meridian Line, a sundial laid down along the meridian that crosses through Rome, at latitude 15º. At true noon, about 12.15 pm (1.15 pm in summer time), the sun casts its light on this line.  The markings were made by the astronomer, mathematician, archaeologist, historian and philosopher Francesco Bianchini. who had been commissioned by Pope Clement XI to make them for the Holy Year of 1700. It took a bit longer; they were completed in 1703 with the assistance of the astronomer G.F. Maraldi.

And another one of my favs is this pendulum.
Sorry for the sucky picture but oh so cool, that I had to share.

If you are still with me, thanks.
Leave a comment if you choose.

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