What is the Pantheon?

The breathtaking Pantheon, more than 2000 years old, is one of Rome’s most famous buildings. It is the most well preserved Ancient Roman monument in all of Rome. Famous for its striking architecture, with its iconic pillars and enormous dome. Named in Greek, which translates to “honour to all Gods,” this landmark is well worth the stop in.

The Making of the Pantheon

The exact date of the pantheon is a mystery. Legend says that the original Pantheon was built on the very site where Romulus ascended to heaven. Some historians claim that Emperor Augustus’s right-hand man, Marcus Agrippa, was the first to build the Pantheon in 27 BC, which burned to the ground in 80 AD. Emperor Domitian rebuilt the building, but it was then struck by lightning and burned again in 110 AD. Finally, Emperor Hadrian commissioned Apollodorus of Damascus, a famous Greek architect, to rebuild this building once again in 120 AD. This Pantheon remained standing, now almost 2000 years old. Unfortunately, due to the conflicting opinions of Hadrian and Apollodorus over the design, the emperor had the architect executed and continued with his own vision. An interesting thing about this building is that the exact composition of materials is still unknown. However, a clue shows it was made with a mixture that is similar to modern-day concrete, which means the construction methods were ahead of their time.

The Dome of the Pantheon

When visiting the Pantheon, cast your eyes upwards to the magnificent dome above your head. Known as the eye of the pantheon, the dome is the largest unsupported dome in the world. It stretches 43.30 meters and is in perfect proportion with the building by the fact that the distance from the floor to the top of the dome is exactly equal to its diameter. The dome illumines the room in incredible sunlight, a unique experience for any traveller.

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