Friday, October 11, 2013

Rome's Wedding Cake

The Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) in Rome is a monument that was completed in 1925, honoring Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy.

Here's a vintage view from the 1950's:

It doesn't matter that it's not Disneyland; I still like to zoom in to ogle the details, like the tour bus and parking signage.

Another vintage 1950's view, showing one of the Guards of Honor for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

When I visited Rome in 2004, I remember being completely overwhelmed by the amount of historic buildings, monuments, and statues. Every corner I turned seemed to have another one that I had learned about in my history classes.

On my first day in Rome, I believe I continually walked (and snapped photos, of course) without stopping for at least a solid 8 hours. My dogs (aka my feet) were barking.

At the front of the monument is this statue of Victor Emmanuel himself, sculpted by Enrico Chiaradia.

Three days later I ran across this building again, completely forgetting I had been there before and started shooting it again. I'm glad that I did, as both photo shoots show completely different vantage points of the structure.

That is one fancy hat.

It is not surprising that a building of this size came with a bit of controversy. Apparently a Medieval neighborhood was leveled to make way for its construction.

Many of the locals felt that it was too gaudy. It generated the nicknames "The Wedding Cake" and "The Typewriter." I am sure those aren't monikers that the designer, Giuseppe Sacconi, had in mind when he was drafting it.

You can't blame Sacconi, though; he passed away before the building was completed, and three other architects stepped in: Manfredo Manfredi, Pio Piacentini and Gaetano Koch. This could be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen.

The Colonnade with its massive 50' high columns:

One thing you can't dispute; the view of Rome from the Terrace is a beauty!

See more vintage & current Rome, Italy photos on my Rome web page.


JG said...

Good Grief, looks like Las Vegas. Looks like each successive designer had to leave his mark.

No surprise there was a debate about the design and site, it would be hard to build anything new in Rome, without stepping on something else.

A pleasant change of pace, Dave. I'll look for this on our trip next year. Thank you very much.


K. Martinez said...

Beautiful! Love the second and last image. Thanks.