The Pantheon is an ancient temple dedicated to the Roman gods and embodies the greatness of the Roman Empire. It is assumed that it was built in A.D. 2 on another temple, built-in 27 B.C. by Marcus Agrippa. Nowadays, this ancient crowning glory can be found at Piazza della Rotonda.
The Pantheon is a large rotunda covered with a hemispherical dome diameter of 45 meters (147,6 ft). Architects had done an excellent job and achieved a harmonious balance between building height and diameter. Due to engineering calculations, the dome does not press down on the visitors with its mass and solemnly towers over them like the sky.
The height of the building is almost equal to its diameter and amounts to 42 meters (137,8 ft). Air and light penetrate inside the Pantheon through the oculus in the center of the dome with a diameter of 9 meters (29,5 ft), called “the Eye of the Pantheon”, the main feature of the temple.
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The inside surface of the Roman dome is decorated with 140 coffers. A series of these recessed panels have decorative and constructive value, significantly reducing the weight of the arch. It has been calculated that the dome’s weight is 5000 metric tons. But gradually, with the increasing height of the dome, its thickness and weight are reduced. For example, the thickness of the concrete mass at the bottom is 6 meters (19,7 ft), and near “the Eye of the Pantheon,” it is only 1,5 meters (4,9 ft).
The greatness of the temple is emphasized by a portico of sixteen granite Corinthian columns at the entrance. A Roman portal, dating from the Roman era, leads you inside. The walls, holding the dome, are faced with marble and divided into two tiers from the inside. The lower tier, in its turn, consists of 7 identical niches, to facilitate the construction.
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Pantheon is one of the few buildings of ancient Rome which has survived unchanged. All the time, it has attracted the attention of artists, scientists, and the simple public. Michelangelo considered it to be a divine creation. Raphael wanted to be buried in the temple, which, in his mind, was a place where people and goods were united. So the great artist was buried in the Pantheon. This event became a new stage in the history of the ancient temple, having turned it into a burial place of great and famous people.
From an architectural viewpoint, the Pantheon is almost the only monumental structure, which harmoniously combines grandiosity and elegance. Its image had a considerable influence on the architecture of that time and future as well.
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Despite past centuries with their gains and losses, the Pantheon, as before, is absolute proof of the greatness of the Roman Empire.
A ticket to visit the Pantheon is not required, because the entrance is free. Opening hours are from 9 am to 7 pm daily.
Not many tourists go to the temple in the first hour after opening – this is the time, when we recommend our readers to visit the place.
Accommodation in Rome near the Pantheon area is an excellent opportunity to reach all the main attractions in Rome by walk.
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Author: Kate Zusmann
For the last 10 years, I live in the Eternal City. Traveling, exploring new things, writing blogs, and shooting vlogs are my main hobbies, but the thing that I like even more is sharing my experience and thoughts with you! Explore Rome with Us :)
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