Magic Eye

During our last day in Rome we went on a walking tour that took us inside of one of the lesser known churches in Rome – the Sant’Ignazio Church (Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martin). The church was built late by Roman standards – early 1600s – and unfortunately the architects ran out of funding to complete the project (a nearby monastery also complained that the dome would block some of its sunlight and thus hindered the ability of them to raise additional funding). As they realized funding was running low they made the decision to nix the dome; but what is a church without a dome?! Blaspheme!

Thus, they were forced to improvise and so they hired a painter – Andrea Pozzo – to paint a 3-D dome into the ceiling where they originally planned on the dome being. Thus, the roof of the building is flat (it is hidden from view on the street as there is a steeple streetside) but on the interior if you look up from all but one angle slightly behind the ‘dome’ it is hard to tell that it isn’t actually a real dome. Pretty tricky stuff!

Photo of the Day – The Dome That Isn’t

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To take this picture I set my camera on the floor with the lens facing up and the two second timer on. I found that many churches in Rome allowed me to set my camera on things – including the floor – and for the most part the other tourists were kind enough to wait (sometimes thirty seconds with the low light in the church) for the camera to finish its job. I have to say ‘thanks’ to all those patient tourists and hopefully they will see these pictures as well and be able to relive the memories of that crazy American pressing the button and then jumping quickly out of the way to avoid being in the frame of my wide angle lens. One lady stuck her face on the side of this picture trying to see what I was doing so I had to crop her out but luckily it was on the non-dome side.


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