Pantheon was originally build by
Agrippa in 27 BC as a temple devoted to all deities worshiped by the
Romans, it was rebuild by emperor Hadrian (117- 38).
Piazza della Rotunda
Tel. 06-6830 0230
Open: 8:30am- 7:30pm Mon- Sat
9am- 6pm Sun
Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25
is probably the best preserved single structure from the Roman empire.
With 20 feet thick walls at the base this structure supports a large
dome with diameter of 142 feet. At highest point its height equals its
diameter forming a perfect square. The floor is slanted slightly to the
center so that water could easily drain away. Since it has no windows on
the side the only opening was made at the highest point of the temple.
“Oculus” or “eye” is a thirty feet across and served as the only
source of light. The dome over Pantheon
influenced design of Saint Peter’s dome in Rome
and dome of the
escaped destruction largely due to the fact that it became a Christian
Church. However in the 17th century over active pope Urban
VIII (born Maffeo Barberini) started removing bronze nails and plates
from the temple to melt them into a baldachin over St. Peter’s altar.
Romans hate this so much that a saying appeared: “What barbarians did
not do, Barbarini (Ital. for “small barbarian”) has done”. Today Pantheon
is a resting place of artist Raphael (died 1520), king and unifier of Italy
Victor Emmanuel II (died 1878) and king Umberto I who was assassinated