The Pantheon in Rome

This is an awesome building !!!  Impressive from outside but inside it’s truly amazing !!!    One cannot walk through the huge bronze doors, having just walked between massive pillars of the portico, without standing in awe of the enormity of the dome with a hole in it’s centre through which a huge shaft of sunlight shines on the marble floor!


The Pantheon, the ‘Roman temple of all gods’,  is the best preserved ancient building in Rome.  ‘It has been lightly sacked over the ages – barbarians took portable pieces, Constans II stole its gilded roof tiles, and, in 1625, Urban VIII melted down the portico’s bronze ceiling panels to make cannon for Castel Sant’ Angelo.’



It stands on the site of a pagan temple erected by Agrippa between 27 and 25 BC.  Emperor Hadrian, an amateur architect, designed this present magnificent structure in AD 118-125.  The massive pillars of the portico formed part of the earlier temple according to our local guide

IMG_4303Thick walls incorporate built-in arches to help distribute the weight downwards, relieving the stress of the heavy roof



The dome, the widest masonry dome in Europe, is precisely as high as it is wide : 43.3m (142ft) and the cylindrical walls are equal in height to the height of the dome


The circular hole .. the oculus 8.3m (27ft) diameter provides the only light and gives structural support to the dome:  the tension around its ring helps hold the weight of the dome


Coffering reduces the weight of the dome



..The floor is slightly sloped towards the centre where there are drainage holes for rain.  I believe it’s amazing to watch rain gently float down through the opening onto the marble floor


The massive bronze doors …



In the 7th century Christians claimed to be plagued by demons as they passed by and permission was given to make the Pantheon a church – Santa Maria ad Martyres


Today it is lined with tombs – two of which are Italy’s kings, Vittorio Emanuele II (1861-78) Italy’s first king, his son, Umberto I,  who was assassinated in 1900, and the first Queen of Italy, Umberto’s wife Margherita di Savoia (after whom the margherita pizza was named!!)    Interestingly .. the colours of the margherita pizza reflect in the Italian flag .. white (pizza base) red (tomatoes) green (basil) 🙂




Raphael’s tomb – Roman Renaissance artist who died in 1520 at the age of 37 ..


Magnificent interior marble walls, panels and of course pillars …










Both hubby and I signed the visitors book ..



Piazza della Rotonda in front of the Pantheon – Giacomo della Porta’s 1575 fountain supports a small Egyptian obelisk dedicated to Ramses II


IMG_3482We came back to the Pantheon with our Tour group a day or so later .. one more photograph for the record 🙂   It was a different time of day 😉


Our walk-about continued … we made our way towards Piazza Navona .. we were hot and tired and needed some lunch !!


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This entry was posted in art, church, holiday, Italy, Rome, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Pantheon in Rome

  1. loustravels says:

    Looks amazing! Hopefully I’ll get to visit one day 🙂

  2. I am speechless. My head goes into Indiana Jones / Tomb Raider / National Treasure / Da Vinci Code mode if I see places like this. This is why I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was small. To discover places like this.

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