Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Majestic Amphitheater of Aosta, the jewel of the Via Francigena

These pictures of the Amphitheater say more than words could ever express.
First of all, the Roman Amphitheater of Aosta is beautifully designed.

Second of all, it is one of the most resilient structures in the history of ancient architecture.

Thirdly, the size and the verticality of the Amphitheater is enormous, even by modern standards.

Finally the Amphitheater is designed around the surrounding Aosta mountain range, and perfectly inserted.

About the same year this amphitheater was being built, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was famous in all the corners of the Roman empire for having written his 10 volume collection De Architectura. I am sure he would have been proud on how well the principles on architecture he set out in this book were so perfectly brought to work here on this project.

Marcus Vitruvius set down three basic principles for architecture, which you can see were very well followed in this amphitheater: firmitas, utilitas et venustas (firmness, usefulness and beauty).

Marcus Vitruvius dedicated the 9th book of his collection De Architectura just to analyze the orbits of the sun, the phases of the moon and movements of the 4 known planets at that time, because of his concern on inserting any building in this world, with its symmetrical orientation with these heavenly bodies, and how for example the columns would cast shadows on the floors of a building during different times of the day, and this would affect two of his three guiding principles: utilitas et venustas.

The sun rays play beautifully with the structure
of the amphitheater, but in different ways,
at different times of the day.

Just as this entire city was dedicated to the Emperor Augustus, Marcus Vitruvius dedicated his masterpiece De Architectura to the Emperor. This clearly gives us the impression of how important building was during the reign of Augustus.

No comments:

Post a Comment