Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Rome, the First Sight
My first encounter with Rome has been rainy and rather sad - as the above picture of Mary Maggiore Basilic, one of the four dedicated to the Virgin and worth a visit.
It took me some time to start appreciating the views - it all began here, in the cloister of Giovanni the Laterano cathedral, reminding me of Barcelona, Toledo, and the mystery of faith - of which Rome is definitely full of:
This is the inside of the cathedral, where only the Pope can celebrate in front of the altar beneath the baldachin - they love baldachins here (the four-pillared thing in the middle, yes, i did not know what a baldachin meant in a church either...)
Laterano cathedral is impressive - especially if visited before San Pedro. The most stunning for me ware these Saint Stairs: the legend says it was Constantin"s mother who brought the marble stairs, now covered with wood for preservation, from Jerusalem. It is the most impressive relique I have seen so far! They were originally the stairs of Pilate"s palace on which Jesus walked to be judged...Now they are walked on knees only by the piligrims...
Here is the last site - to finally fall in love, despite the rain and the cold with the Eternal one: