Pantheon of Rome

The Pantheon of Rome, completed in 126 AD by Emperior Hadrian on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa between 27 BC – 14 AD, is a former a Roman temple and now a Catholic Church (Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres). It is one of the architectural masterpieces of Rome, and is the best preserved building from ancient Roman times.

The most surprising aspect of the Pantheon’s architecture is its measurements: the circular building has exactly the same diameter as its height: 43.5 metres. The dome, which has the same diameter, is bigger than that of St. Peter’s Basilica. At its top, a 9 meter diameter opening allows natural light to illuminate the entire building. The rectangular facade that hides the enormous dome is comprised of 16 granite columns which are each 14 meters in height, on which the following inscription can be seen: “M.AGRIPPA.L.F.COS.TERTIVM.FECIT”, which means “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, built this temple when he was a Consul.” The tombs of numerous Italian kings and a multitude of art works are found inside the Pantheon. The best-known person buried in the Pantheon is the Renaissance painter and architect Raphael.

The Piazza della Rotonda surrounding the Pantheon is usually full of people at all hours, either photographing the imposing building, or having a traditional supper while enjoying the shows put on by various street artists.


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