Pantheon

Pantheon

Pantheon is not just a building but a masterpiece, proving the excellence of Romans. Built more than 1800 years ago, the magnificent Pantheon still stands as a reminder of the great Roman Empire and is the best well-preserved site of the Romans.

History

The Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy which was in 27 AD, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa, the 1st emperor of the Roman Empire, during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD) but Domitian, in 80 A.D., rebuilt it after a fire then 30 years later it was hit by lightening and caught fire again and now the shape, we people see; was built by the Emperor Hadrian (A.D 117-138) in about 126AD.

Name

The word Pantheon is a Greek adjective meaning “honor all Gods”.

Purpose

It was a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome.

Inscription

On the head of Pantheon still reads in Latin:

M. AGRIPPA.L.F.COSTERTIUM.FECIT

“Marcus Agrippa son of Lucius, having been consul three times made it”.

head of Pantheon

Mysteries

It was dedicated as a temple but how and who, the people worshiped?

Architect

Michelangelo felt it was the work of angels, not men.

Architecture

The way they thought while constructing this lovely site needs a salute. The Romans were aware of the heavy nature of their building materials so on the lowest level they used the heaviest material, Travertine and the lightest materials on the ceiling of the dome.
One interesting thing about Pantheon’s architecture is; the Architect is unknown 🙂

Entrance

To enter, we cross the Pronaos with its imposing granite column forest. There are 16, monoliths, more than 14m high, some grey while others in pink granite from Aswan, the latter brought from ancient Egypt by transport that would be considered exceptional even today.

pronaos

The Bronze door at the end of the columns is just as impressive in size, 7m high, a real record for the times.

Bronze door

Interior

At the center of the dome, there is a 9m diameter hole, the Oculus. The Oculus was also to let the smoke from sacred fires out. The belief that the Oculus was built so that rain could not get in is not true. When it rains, it also rains in the Pantheon but the floor is slightly convex so the water would flow away, thanks to an effective drainage system.

Oculus

The Portico

The porch leading to the entrance of a building has 16 huge, 60 tons weighing columns which are 39ft tall, 5ft in diameter, brought all the way from Egypt.

portico

Piazza della Rotonda

The rectangular square situated in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.

Piazza della Rotonda

Fountain of Pantheon

It is a beautiful 18th century fountain crowned with an obelisk in Piazza della Rotonda designed by famous architecture Giacomo Della Porta in 1575 and sculpted out of marble by Leonardo Sormani.

Fountain of Pantheon

Facts

Pantheon was completed in 7 years.

In A.D 608 Parthenon was converted into a church and since then is has been used as a church.

Unlike many other ancient structures, the Pantheon has been in use since the time it was built.

Today Pantheon is a church dedicated to St. Mary of the Martyrs.

The Dome was built with a single casting of concrete in subsequent layers.

No Oculus had even dared come close in size to the one in the Pantheon.

In the year 609, The Pantheon was the first pagan temple to be transformed into a church.

The bronze doors to the cella were once Gold plated.

Importance

This impressive building’s dome is still the largest un-reinforced concrete dome in the world.

The columns, the marble, the inner decorations, even the floor is the same even after 2000years ago; built with precious marble from all over the Mediterranean Sea.

The Italian kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I as well as the famous Renaissance painter Raphael and his fiancee are buried in the Pantheon.

Umberto I Raphael Vittorio Emanuele II

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *