Would you like to visit the Pantheon in Rome? The Pantheon is the best preserved building from Roman times and is now a church. All tips for your visit to the Pantheon.
Info Pantheon Rome
|address||Piazza della Rotonda, Rome|
|metro||Stop at Barberini (Line A) and walk another 8 minutes|
|Dress code||Many churches in Rome have dress codes. Please cover your knees and shoulders and do not wear flip flops.|
The Roman pantheon
The Pantheon is one of the most famous Roman buildings in the city center of Rome. The construction of the Pantheon began in 27 BC. on the orders of Marcus Agrippa. It is one of the few buildings from ancient Rome that has been fully preserved.
The current temple and the characteristic round dome were only built in the 2nd century under Emperor Hadrian, after Agrippa’s building was damaged by a lightning strike in 80 AD and again in 110.
The facade shows the following text in bronze: ‘M.AGRIPPA.LFCOS.TERTIUM.FECIT’. It means: “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, the third consul, built this”. Interestingly, this text was added during the reign of Emperor Hadrian.
It is noteworthy that people still do not know what the original purpose of the Pantheon building was. The name Pantheon comes from the Greek and means “dedicated to all gods”. The Pantheon was not used as a church until 608, when Emperor Phocas handed the building over to Pope Boniface IV.
The church was called “Santa Maria ad Martyres”. Over time, more and more altars and funerary monuments were added, including the tomb of various Italian kings and the famous painter Raphael. These tombs are located in the seven niches that surround the central room.
The dome of the Pantheon
The opening in the dome has a diameter of 8.7 meters and lets in light (and sometimes rain) in a special way. This “oculus” was not only a source of light, but also a deliberate addition to Hadrian’s design in order to bring visitors to the temple into direct contact with heaven.
The overall dome has a diameter of 44.4 meters and is the largest reinforced concrete dome in the world. The diameter is remarkable as it corresponds to the height from the floor to the oculus. The dome is over seven meters thick at the edges and consists of heavy types of rock.
Near the oculus, the dome is only 1.2 meters thick and is mainly made of light-colored pumice stone. Originally the ceiling of the pantheon was clad in bronze. However, this was melted down under Pope Urban VIII and – rumor has it – used by Bernini to make the canopy over Peter’s tomb (in St. Peter’s Basilica). This turned out to be untrue as Bernini did not trust the alloy.