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The Pantheon was a Roman temple, now a Catholic church in Rome, Italy. The Pantheon is one of the most recognizable Roman buildings in Rome's city centre. The construction of the beautiful pantheon was started by Margus Agrippa in 27BC. It is one of the very few buildings in Rome that is still standing strong. The dome and the temple were built in the 2nd century under the rule of Emperor Hadrian. The Pantheon still today is extremely remarkable for its size, its construction, and its design.
The Pantheon expresses the legacy and heritage of ancient Rome in the most stunningly and admirable way.
The original purpose of The Pantheon is not very popular today. The name Pantheon comes from Greek culture and it means ‘devoted to all gods’. The Pantheon was not used as a church until 608 when emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV.
The opening in the dome has a diameter of 8.7 metres and uniquely lets in light and rain. In addition to being a source of light, ‘Oculus’ (top of the dome) was a deliberate addition to Hadrian's design to let the visitors of the temple be in direct contact with the Gods of heavens. Originally, the ceiling of the Pantheon was made with bronze. However, that was melted down under pope Urban VIII. The Pantheon is the best-preserved and maintained Ancient Roman monument. It is a bit of a mystery how the Pantheon managed to survive when all the rest of Roman monuments had been shattered.
The structure of the monument is also way ahead of its time. The exact composition of the material is unknown to date. The construction of the monument appears to be structurally similar to modern-day concrete! Whatever the reasons are, the Pantheon is the only structure of its age and size that has successfully survived the damage of time and universe, still intact with all its splendor and beauty.
The most captivating part of the Pantheon is its giant dome. The dome was the largest in the world for 1300 years and today it remains the largest unsupported dome in the world. Inside the Pantheon, the distance from the floor to the top of the dome is exactly equal to its diameter.
The exact age of The Pantheon is still unknown. The Roman scholars tell that the original Pantheon was dedicated to Romulus after he ascended to heaven from that site. Most historians claim that Emperor Augustus built the first Pantheon in 27 BC. The building made by Agrippa was destroyed by a large fire in 80 BC and again in 110 BC struck by lightning. Hadrian decided not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa's older temple, which had burned down.
In the year 609 to save The Pantheon from getting destroyed during middle ages it was the first temple to be transformed into a church. Today it is a church that is dedicated to St. Mary of the Martyrs. However, it is called The Pantheon by virtually everybody and it seems to exist independent of the religious rule but more of a tribute to the past.
There is a beautiful fountain “Fountain of the Pantheon” in front of the Pantheon. It was designed by Giacomo Della Porta's famous architecture in 1575. Leonardo Sormani sculpted the marble in it. In 1711, Pope Clement XI modified the fountain which included a different basin made of stone and other things with the help of Filippo Barignoni.
On April 21 a lightning effect can be viewed as the sun strikes the metal grille above the doorway. The Romans used to celebrated April 21 as the founding date of the city because the impressive sight of their Emperor standing at the entrance of the Pantheon surrounded by the light coming from the pantheon might have been seen as so thrilling and fascinating and, in effect, raised their emperor to the level of gods of the universe.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.