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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Meet Blu

A new school year is in full swing!  Students at St. Christopher's are busy making some beautiful masterpieces and I can't wait to show you the final projects once they are done!

In the meantime, I want to introduce you all to Blu.....Mrs. Rauscher's travel companion who loves to take pictures with the art and places they see and visit.

This year, I was able to travel to Spain and Italy and brought Blu along.  Here are some of the sights we saw this summer:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

First up: the leaning Tower of Pisa.  The tilt started when construction started in 1173 due to the soft sandy ground found throughout Pisa.  The lean continued all the way until the 1372 when the tower was finally completed.  Depending on the angle, you can see that the builders tried to correct the lean by angling the top levels making it look more like a banana.  It has since been stabilized in the past centuries but that lean is still there and put this tower and town on the map.

The Florence Cathedral

The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or in English, "Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower" is the main church of Florence, Italy.  And boy, is it HUGE!  Building started in 1296 and was completed in 1436.  Inside is covered in frescos and paintings as well as cavernous interior.  Unfortunately, we did not have time to wait in the long line to go inside.  But hopefully Blu and I will find ourselves back in Italy one day.  

Florence Baptistery

In front of the Florence Cathedral is the Baptistery.  The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in the city, constructed between 1059 and 1128.  The Baptistery is renowned for its three sets of bronze doors with relief sculptures.  This picture is in front of doors designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti.  Who won this honor in a contest between him and famous artist and architect, Filippo Brunelleschi.  Who eventually when on to design the Dome of the Florence Cathedral.  I remember seeing these in my art history books in college, it was incredible to see them in person! 

Michelangelo's David

Now if you every took a walk around Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park, you might have seen a sculpture similar to this one.  Well that is a reproduction or copy of this huge marble sculpture by Michelangelo, one of the most famous Renaissance artists and the painter of the Sistine Chapel.  
I have seen picture after picture of this sculpture but never grasped how large this artwork was!  He is taller than most people even with out the pedestal he sits on!  

The Vatican: St. Peter's Square

We visited the Pope....well where he lives.  We not see him but we did stand in St. Peter's Square and stood in front of St Peter's Basilica.  Though the Pope often holds mass inside the Basilica, for important feast days and celebrations, the Pope will have mass right in the Square.

The Pantheon

Once a Roman temple, this now serves as a church.  The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and was probably dedicated about 126 AD.  This is one of the best preserved Ancient Roman Buildings since it has been in constant use since its completion.  What makes this building so incredible is the Dome that was revolutionary during its time....we are taking AD here! The Pantheon still holds the record for the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.  

The Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum or also known by its Latin name: Amphitheatrum Flavium, is built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheater ever built. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus.  It could hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators for gladiator fights, theater productions and even naval battle reenactments!  

Blu and Mrs. Rauscher had a fabulous trip and saw and did lots of other amazing things including a gondola ride through Venice!  
What cool things did you see this summer?  
And where do you think Blu will turn up next?