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Rome is the capital of Italy and Lazio region. "Eternal City" as
it was called by the Ancient people is one of the most popular
tourist destinations today. Its historical center occupies an
area of seven hills. A river Tiber flows through it from North
to South. For centuries Rome was a small settlement in the heart
of Apennine peninsula. However due to its strategic location in
the center of Mediterranean and aggressive policy, together with
number of innovations in military technology propelled this city
to a status of a superpower those legacy we feel to this day in
many aspects of our lives.
The church of Santa Maria Maggiore
was originally constructed here in 356 by pope Liberius. Legend
claims that he saw a Virgin in his dream who told him that snow
will show him where to build a new church. On August 5th snow
fell on Rome and the first place it covered was current location
of the church. Hence to this day the Miracle of Snow is
celebrated with thousands of white flowers and petals
representing the August snow. Then it comes to architectural
style Santa Maria Maggiore is truly a symbol of Rome. Old and
new are so organically build into each other it is hard to
distinguish which part belong to what period. Its colonnaded
triple nave is that of the 5th century church that originally
stood here. Additionally mosaics on triumphal arch and biblical
scenes date to that time period. Bell Tower is a medieval.
Renaissance gave church its beautiful ceiling and Baroque added
its twin domes.
Catacombe di Priscilla or the
"Queen of the Catacombs" is a burial ground for 7 early popes
and many early Christian martyrs who died for their faith. Its name was
given after Priscila wife of consul Acilius, from an influental
patrician family of Acilii, who was killed by emperor Domitian for his
Christian beliefs. The catacombs were burial grounds for Christians and
also places for their worship to escape watchful eye of the state.
Cappella Greca or Greek Chapel still preserves stucco decorations from
the third century. Today tourists can enter the catacombs through the
cloister of the monastery of the Benedictines of Priscilla.