Though the church doesn't really look like anything special from the street, as I approached, I could see just how special this space really was as soon as I saw the doors:
When I walked into the Church, the light was streaming in through the windows, and I was absolutely floored. The interior of the building was stunning, and I was really excited to finally be able to go back to Mass (not an option at all for me in Baghdad). Just being there I felt like I'd come back "home" again.
The marble was pink, and and beautifully carved, and the altar was no exception:
The ceilings ceiling of the Tribume above the altar was also beautifully painted:
What you can't see from my pictures here is that the church was built with the sun, moon, and stars in mind. Inside the Church, there is a meridian line, or a kind of sundial that tracks the movement of the sun on the floor, with dates marked along the way and is also used to track the equinoxes and solstices. When you look above the line, you can also see that the Church was also designed to track the movement of stars:
The "head" of John the Baptist. How appropriate for Lent!
Following the Mass, I spent the rest of the day just walking, looking at beautiful things, eating pizza, ice cream, and of course drinking espresso! Stomach flu be gone!
I continued to walk even as the sun set, and did quite a fair bit of shopping, too! One of the first things I did was to swap out my drab winter coat for a beautifully fashionable Italian one!!!