Built more than 1800 years ago, the magnificent Pantheon still stands as a reminder of the great Roman Empire. The name Pantheon refers to the building’s original function as a temple for all the gods.
The structure has thick brick walls and large marble columns but the most remarkable part of the building is the more than forty-three meter high dome. The dome was the largest in the world until 1436 when the Florence Cathedral was constructed.
There is a large opening at the top of the dome which called ‘oculus’ and was the only source of light. The front portico has three rows of columns. The first row has eight columns while the other two have four each. A huge bronze door gives access to the cylindrical building. Its diameter equals the interior height of 43.3 meters.
Before the current Pantheon was built, two other buildings occupied the same site. The first one, a traditional rectilinear, T-shaped structure was built in 27-25 BC by General Marcus Agrippa, son-in- law of Emperor Augustus. The temple was dedicated to the gods Mars and Venus. It burned down in 80 AD but was rebuilt by Emperor Domitian. In 110 AD the building was struck by lightning and burned down again. In 118 AD Emperor Hadrian ordered for the Pantheon to be rebuilt again but this time in a totally different, circular design. It was completed seven years later, in 125 AD. This latest version of the Pantheon is still standing almost intact today.
The Pantheon borders the Piazza della Rotonda, a rectangular square with at its center an eighteenth-century fountain crowned with an obelisk. The square is located in the historic center of Rome, not far from the Navona Square which is one of the Rome’s most beautiful squares.
Location: Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Rome
Nearby hotels: Appia Antica Resort, Portrait Roma, Deko Rome
Nearby sights: Colosseum, Centro Storico, Borghese Gallery
Official website: http://www.museionline.info/roma-musei-e-monumenti/pantheon
Tel.: 0039 06 68300230