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Pantheon (Rome, Italy)

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      21.07.2012 15:31
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      A good visit

      The Pantheon was one of the things in Rome that was high on my to-do list although I'm not too sure why. I knew that it had something to do with the Gods and for me that was enough to want to see it.

      == Getting there ==
      The main problem with the Pantheon is getting there. It is not near any metro stop and the closest is Barberini although this is still a 10-15 minute walk away. We headed to the Pantheon after visiting the Trevi Fountain and we got extremely lost. The area has one or two signs saying which way to go but they are very far apart and not helpful at all. The area is full of small, narrow streets which are not marked on maps so finding the Pantheon was quite difficult for us.

      == Opening hours ==
      Monday - Saturday: 9am until 6:30pm
      Sunday: 9am until 1pm

      == What is it? ==
      The Pantheon is one of the most well preserved of the ancient Roman buildings, specifically, churches. The Pantheon is a Roman temple which was dedicated to the Pagan Gods. The Pantheon that stood before the one seen today was burnt to the ground in about 80AD and then replaced by the Emperor Hadrian. During his time, Hadrian did not put his name to many of the buildings he produced, only one, which is why the Pantheon does not have his name on it.

      == My experience ==
      Upon reaching the Pantheon, I was amazed by the sight in front of me. The Piazza della Rotonda, the square in front of the main building is impressive enough with its stunning fountain and lots of people walking around. To get a really good view of the Pantheon, it is best to stand near the fountain to be able to take it all in. The square also has its own tale to tell as this is where Romulus, the founder of Rome died and is said to have been taken away by an eagle and taken to the Gods.

      I spent quite some time looking out the outside of the building as I think the architecture is stunning. After looking at it from a distance, getting up close was even better. I loved weaving my way in and out of the columns at the front of the building before heading inside. Entrance to the Pantheon is free although donations are taken to carry on with the superb upkeep of the building. What amazes me about this building is that it is still used today as a church, showing what a sturdy and reliable structure it really is.

      To enter the Pantheon, you must pass through a set of immense bronze doors. Just walking through these impressed me as I wondered how much they would weigh and what they would have cost to build at the time the Pantheon was created. As soon as I stepped foot into the building, the only thing that I could notice was the massive dome, which the Pantheon is quite famous for. The dome is made out of concrete and was the largest in the world for many hundreds of years. The size of the dome is an equal 142 ft. in diameter with a hole (oculus) in the middle which is 8m wide. The oculus is the only source of light in the Pantheon and it does give the whole building an eerie feel to it.

      Once I could take my eyes off of the dome, I noticed the other things the Pantheon had to offer. The whole building is decorated with coloured marble so it is beautiful in itself. Around the interior of the building are tombs of ancient Italian kings as well as the artist Raphael. Around the sides of the building are numerous smaller chapels. Although the interior is quite interesting, the dome and the exterior interested me far more due to the way that they would have been built in ancient times.

      As the Pantheon is free of charge, it would be a real shame to miss out on such an amazing building which is still in such good condition. Although it was a pain to get to, I would advise planning out a route well beforehand and making it easier on yourselves.

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