2021-06-21

Pantheon Rome — Temple of all the gods

The Pantheon in Rome is an ancient and well-preserved building in the Italian capital. For two millennia, it has remained almost in its original form largely due to its architecture. The Roman Pantheon is so well and simply designed that it has remained almost completely untouched by time. 

It's also surprising when you consider that two different popes worship under the roof for their own purposes. Thus, the Pantheon building remained unprotected for several centuries. The age, condition, and beauty of its architectural forms make the Pantheon one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions. Of course, it is definitely included in excursions to the ancient places of the city.

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
Roman Pantheon

Pantheon Italy: The Pantheon is located in Piazza Della Rotonda in one of Rome's most picturesque and interesting areas. Just a short walk away you will find two of the city's famous squares: Piazza Navona and the charming Campo de Fiori with its colorful market.
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Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
Piazza Della Rotonda
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Who built the pantheon - The beginning of construction dates back to 25 B.C. Built by Marcus Agrippa, son-in-law of Emperor Augustus, the Pantheon was dedicated to all the ancient Roman gods. Its dome represents the vault of heaven, and the opening in the dome symbolizes the Sun. 

Pantheon facts
An interesting fact - Most of the planets of our solar system are named after the Roman gods. Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. 

Pantheon


Pantheon History: In 80 AD, it was damaged by fire. The building was restored, but it did not last long. Only during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (120-125 AD), the Pantheon was completely restored. It is noteworthy that the brickwork of this period demonstrates the excellent technical skill achieved by the Roman builders. Early Christian emperors forbade the use of this pagan temple for worship. The Pantheon in Rome was abandoned until Pope Boniface IV founded a Christian church there in 609. He dedicated her to the Virgin Mary and all Christian martyrs.

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
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Pantheon Dome

Pantheon Rome, The huge dome rests on a masonry cylinder. There are large empty spaces inside. These voids, combined with the alcoves that surround its interior, allowed for a lighter structure by supporting the dome with arches.

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
From the outside, the dome of the Pantheon does not seem to be something memorable. Its main attraction lies within.
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What is the pantheon made of The dome of the Pantheon is considered the largest unreinforced monolithic concrete dome in the world. It was he who inspired the famous architect Filippo Brunelleschi to create the dome of the cathedral in Florence. By the way, it is called Brunelleschi's Dome. In addition, a similar design was used by another Italian architect Donato Bramante for St. Peter's Basilica. The Capitol Dome in Washington DC is also made using this technology. The builders solved the problem of the weight of the dome by changing the materials used to make the concrete. For each subsequent layer, they used a lighter stone. The upper two rows of the dome are made of light tuff and an even lighter pumice stone.

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
Top view of the Roman Pantheon.
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Pantheon size: When viewed from Piazza Della Rotonda, where the Pantheon is surrounded by buildings, the dome appears flatter than it actually is. Therefore, it is best to appreciate it from the inside. It is from here that he appears in all his beauty and grandeur. The diameter of the dome is as much as 43.44 meters. And the total height of the temple is 42.7 meters.

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
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Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
Sectional Roman Pantheon
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The inner part of the dome is coffered (that is, it is divided into separate sections to give it strength). Initially, the dome was covered with gilded bronze tiles. But it was removed by order of Pope Gregory III. And Pope Urban VIII used the heavy bronze roofing of the portico (porch) for the construction of Bernini's canopy in St. Peter's Basilica.

Pantheon Oculus

The round hole in its center is called the Oculus. The Oculus meaning "eye" in Latin. The Oculus distributes the weight of the dome. Its diameter is 9 meters. By the way, this is the only light source in the building. 

"A lighting effect can be viewed on April 21when the midday sun strikes a metal grille above the doorway, saturating the courtyard outside with light."

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
Dome of the Roman Pantheon from the inside, The eye of the Pantheon, or oculus
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Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
It should be noted that the inside of the Roman Pantheon looks just great
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Since the oculus "EYE" always remains open, the floor has a slight slope for rainwater drainage. Be careful when it rains, the floor is rather slippery. The most amazing rain can be seen here on the 50th day after Easter. This holiday is called "the day of the descent of the Holy Spirit." On this day, rose petals fly from the oculus. People climb to the top of the dome and pour millions of rose petals into the hole. The priests at this time are dressed in red robes. This tradition has its roots in early Christianity. Then red roses were considered a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and also personified the bloodshed by Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of mankind.

Portico 

Initially, steps led to the entrance to the Pantheon. But over 2000 years, the level of the earth has risen significantly. Now the steps lead down to the portico. Its 33 meters wide is surrounded by 16 granite columns with Corinthian capitals.

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
The roof of the portico (or porch) is supported by massive ancient columns.
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Although the building was rebuilt after a fire in 80 AD, the inscription that was on the original Pantheon in Rome was added over the porch of the new building. It reads: “M * AGRIPPA * L * F * COS * TERTIUM • FECIT“ (Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, consul for the third time, built it).

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
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Bronze doors, once covered with gold, weigh 20 tons each. Fortunately, the popes did not get to them and did not melt them, as happened with the bronze roof.

Pantheon interior

Inside the Pantheon: The graceful dome of the Pantheon was, of course, the highest achievement of Roman architecture. But the interior space with harmonious proportions also deserves attention. The height of the temple is equal to the diameter of the dome, and the height of the cylinder supporting the dome is equal to its radius. 

The Pantheon - Under the Dome — Video

Semicircular and rectangular niches are located in the walls with a thickness of 6.2 meters. They not only visually change the space but also, as it were, make it lighter. The austere finish greatly enhances the architectural effect. The harmony and ideal proportions, based on the image of the Earth with the vault of the sky above it, are as impressive today as they were 2,000 years ago. 

Pantheon location: google map

Tombs of the Pantheon

The Pantheon in Rome is the temple of all the gods and the burial place of noble people. The second niche on the right contains the remains of the Italian king Victor Emmanuel II. And in the second niche on the left is the tomb of King Umberto I and his wife, Queen Margaret. The Grand Cardinal - Secretary of State Consalvi is immortalized in a monument created in 1824 by the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, in the third niche from the left. 

The tomb of the great Renaissance artist Raphael is located between the second and third niches on the left. Above the main altar, directly opposite the entrance, is the original 7th-century icon of the Madonna and Child. It was restored under later layers of paint. It is one of the rare surviving icons common in Roman churches from that period. Above the icon is the half-dome of the apse, covered with a gold mosaic of cross patterns. In the niche on the right, you can see fragments of the 2nd-century decor. 

Pantheon,  Rome — Temple of all the gods
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About
Pantheon Rome

When was the pantheon built: The Pantheon was built by Marcus Agrippa in 25 B.C, Where is the pantheon located: in Piazza Della Rotonda, Rome. What is the pantheon: Traditionally, it was believed that this structure was designed as a temple to all the Roman gods and that the name is derived from the Greek words, PAN meaning "all" and THEOS, meaning "gods." What is the pantheon made of: Built primarily of brick-and-concrete-the Pantheon is composed of three parts: a lobby with granite 16 massive columns, and an enormous roundabout dome with a diameter of 43.4 meters, it was the largest of its kind when it was built, and a rectangular platform connecting the other two parts of this building. 

Pantheon in tourism

As you already know, the Pantheon in Rome is one of the most important tourist attractions in the eternal city. As a rule, most city excursions visit it. Combine it with the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Capitoline Hill, and Trevi Fountain on a 3-hour walking tour of Ancient Rome.  

It can get crowded during the high season in summer. To see the Pantheon without the crowds of tourists, head there in the morning (it opens at 9 am) or closer to closing. It is open until 7pm. Admission is allowed 30 minutes before the closing of the Pantheon. Closed on 1st January, 15th August, and 25th December. More on the official website of the Pantheon.

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