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    The Pantheon

    Le Panthéon de Rome

    Le Panthéon

    In italian : Pantheon

    The Pantheon is the best preserved ancient building of ancient Rome, it was also one of the most prestigious.

    Once at the foot of a vast courtyard, it is nowadays directly accessible on the pretty Piazza della Rotonda. once it dominated the site originally but is now located lower than the square because of the elevation of the ground of Rome over time.
    It was a temple dedicated to the gods of pagan Rome, rebuilt between the years 118 and 125 AD by Emperor Hadrian to replace the old temple built by Agrippa in 27 BC and which burned down in 80 AD.
    The last addition to the work was the 43 meters high coffered dome roof, pierced by an oculus.

    Hadrian, as with all the monuments he erected, (except for the Temple of Trajan, his father), did not add his name.
    Thus, its entrance porch with sixteen supporting columns and a triangular pediment is engraved with the inscription:


    “Made by Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, having been three times consul”

    It was dedicated to all the gods of antiquity, Mars and Venus in particular, the protectors of the Gens Iulia.

    It is unclear how people practiced their faith in the Pantheon because its structure is very different from that of other traditional Roman temples such as those of the Roman Forum.

    It has survived so very well through time also because it has been continuously employed since 609 as the church of Saint Mary of Angels and Martyrs, after it was offered by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas to Pope Boniface IV.

    It then became the tomb of some of the important figures in Italian history. Italian kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, the Renaissance painter Raphael and his fiancee have their tombs there.

    Architecture of the Pantheon

    The architecture of the Pantheon is fascinating, it was very innovative by combining three geometric shapes: its floor plan is circular and crowned with a dome, the outer colonnade is rectangular, and its entrance pediment is triangular.

    Although the Pantheon appears square when approaching it from the front, this is because of its relatively small Cella, yet the rotunda itself is perfectly round. It consists of a series of crossed arches resting on eight pillars which pass through the drum from the inside to its outside face.The dome is supported by a series of arches arranged horizontally. This type of construction holds a record for longevity, with its over 18 centuries of age.

    To manage the mass of materials, the Romans used the lighter and lighter elements towards the top of the dome.Thus, the base is made of heavier travertine stone. Going up, a mixture of travertine and tuff were used, then, tuff and brick and the only brick for the drum bearing the dome. Only pumice was used for the dome’s ceiling.

    Statues of Augustus and Agrippa stood in the apse at the end of the aisles of the entrance colonnade.

    The interior design of the Pantheon in Rome is a striking synthesis of tradition and innovation.The inside height and diameter of the dome are the same (145 Roman feet, 43 meters).

    The marble veneer we see today inside is not original, it was added well after its original construction.

    The golden dome, symbolizing the sky, residence of the Pantheon of gods can also be seen as the image of the world under the control of Rome.

    The oculus is a gem of engineering of the Roman world, far bigger than any other.Having never been covered, rain falls in and runs off the slightly convex floor, to be drained away by the original system still in place.


    Informations, accesss and timetable

    Location: Piazza della Rotonda, Rome
    Free entrance

    Tel: +39 06 68300230

    Opening hours

    Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 18.30 and on Sunday from 9 am to 13.


    Photo Gallery



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    Panthéon 41.899067, 12.477244 Panthéon

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