Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Three Breathtaking Roman Ruins to Visit in Europe
As an associate professor of Rabbinic Literature and Jewish History of Late Antiquity in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Yaron Eliav is the author of God's Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time, Space, and Memory. With an interest in Graeco-Roman history as well as the field of Jewish studies, Dr. Yaron Eliav has traveled extensively through Europe, where many breathtaking feats of Roman engineering and architecture are still standing.
1. Pont Du Gard - This Roman aqueduct was built sometime around 500 AD. Located in what is presently southern France, the Pont Du Gard aqueduct was constructed to carry water to the ancient city of Nemausus, now known as Nîmes. The bridge was built of limestone and stands 50 meters high, stretching over France’s Gardon river.
2. The Pantheon - Residing in Rome, Italy, the Pantheon originated as a temple and now stands as one of the best-preserved Roman historical buildings despite having been built around 25 BC. The building boasted the largest dome in the world until the Duomo of Florence beat it out in 1436. The dome is still the biggest unreinforced dome in the world, with a height and diameter of 43.3-meters.
3. Roman Baths - The Roman Baths in the aptly named Bath, England were first constructed in 60 to 70 AD as a temple. Over the next 300 years, the existing bath was built up around the temple and England’s sole mineral hot spring. While the baths themselves are no longer suitable for use, they speak to the staying power of Roman engineering. The water still flows through the original lead pipes put in by the Romans.