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The Pantheon is located on the Piazza della Rotonda, Rome.
The original Pantheon was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa. Built in 27 BC, it burnt to the ground in 80 AD. The current Pantheon was rebuilt in 126 AD by Emperor Hadrian. It is one of the best-preserved of all the ancient Roman buildings. The name Pantheon literally means "All Gods" and is believed to be a temple dedicated to all the gods. It has been in use as a Roman Catholic church, Santa Maria Rotonda, since the 7th century. The Emperor of the time, Phocas, gave it to Pope Boniface who insisted that all the "pagan filth" be removed before it could be consecrated.
The inscription on the front of the Pantheon reads "M. AGRIPPA. L. F. COSTERTIUM. FECIT" which means "Marcus Agrippa son of Lucius, having been consul three times made it".
Mon - Sat: 9 am - 6.30 pm
Sun: 9 am -1 pm.
Entry to the Pantheon is free and it is certainly worth a visit.
THE PANTHEON EXPERIENCE
The dome is unique in that it is the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. At the top there is a large hole, an oculus, which is the only source of light into the dome. When we went most of the front was covered with scaffolding, but it is a fine example of ancient Roman architecture.
Inside the dome, the Christian influence is heavy. There are lots of altars and statues and tombs of various important dead people including the artist Raphael, the composer Corelli and two Italian Kings - Umberto I and Vittorio Emanuele II.
One of the most interesting things to me as a musician was a very small, self-contained single-manual pipe organ-in-a-box. I don't know if it still used for church services, or if it is just there for display. We weren't allowed to touch it! I can't seem to find anything out about the origin of this obviously extremely antique little pipe organ - my romantic mind would like to believe it was Corelli's own, but this is unlikely.
There is only so much you can take of old pictures and statues so once you've done the rounds, and taken your souvenir pictures, it's time to go and find one of the many scrumptious ice-cream bars which Rome is full of.
But simply to stand there and know that you are in a nearly 2000-year old building where ancient Emperors and Kings trod is quite humbling. I think it is the oldest still-standing building I have ever been in. And it's free!
What is Rome still a beautiful city! For seven days I was in Rome. The whole town is really just as a big museum. While walking in the center of Rome you just see so much. While walking through the streets you suddenly see the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the Pantheon.
The Pantheon is located in the center of Rome. A walk of about five minutes you're at the Trevi Fountain and with ten minutes you can also look at the Spanish Steps. Near the temple is no subway station.
What is the Pantheon?
The word 'Pantheon' and 'dome' will often come together in a sentence. Rightly so, as the Pantheon is known for its large dome. While you're at the front you have a facade of a beautiful Roman temple and inside is a large room and above is a dome with a height of more than 40 meters. At the top of this dome is in the middle a hole, also called the oculus, which ensures the stability of the building.
A little bit of history I find important with this historical building. Around 30 BC, the Pantheon has built, led by Marcus Agrippa (who is also named on the front of the temple). 150 years later it was destroyed by fire. A reconstruction followed soon and this version is the same as the one we now can see.
Things to do today?
Nowadays, the Pantheon is still free to visit. Admission is free and it can not hurt to take a step inside when you are in Rome. Inside you walk on a beautiful marble floor and there are several statues. There are also some seats and benches to find, so after a long day it's perfect for taking a rest. If you just look up you will see the dome and oculus, as the highlight of the Pantheon. Then you can through the same pathway to leave the temple.
The Pantheon is a major tourist attraction and outside the entrance are the necessary stalls selling souvenirs. The temple is situated on a large and famous square, the 'Piazza della Rotonda'. In the middle of the square stands a large obelisk and a nice fountain where you can sit at.
I went with the subway to the Spanish Steps and then I took me about ten minutes walk to get to the tourist attraction. From outside it looked all nice, but inside it makes the experience even better. Once you are in the middle of the building, the dome is very impressive to see. The dome is fully open (no cover). This means that the rain goes right trough it. Too bad that I have not experienced this it seems very fun to watch.
I have visited around late August. It was terribly hot in Rome, but in the Pantheon it wasn't that bad. In terms of tourism it was very crowded in the Pantheon but you had enough room to walk and you are free to move.
The Pantheon, located in the center of Rome is a great attraction to see in Rome. The construction of the impressive dome and the hole is just extraordinary to see, especially when it rains. It is one of the most important temples in Rome that is still standing and thus one of the things you really must see during your trip. It's free, so a visit can never hurt!
I didn't actually plan to visit the Pantheon during my recent trip to Rome, but merely stumbled across it by mistake whilst walking across the ancient city in a mapless attempt to locate the famous Trevi Fountain. I'm very glad I ended up at the Pantheon however, as it turned out to be arguably the most impressive of all the historical sites that I visited.
Built in the year 126 (making it 1,883 years old), the Pantheon in its present form replaced an older building which was erected on the same site in 83BC. The word 'Pantheon' means every god, and the structure was originally built to celebrate all the gods of ancient Rome. There has been some debate in regard to who actually designed the present building - some scolars claim it to be Apollodorus of Damascus, whilst others credit it to Emperor Hadrian's architects - either way, the Pantheon is an incredible piece of architecture, and in my opinion much more beautiful when viewed from the inside.
On the way in, visitors must pass through giant sixty-tonne granite columns, quarried from Egypt's Eastern Mountains and floated down the River Nile on huge barges to their present location. No photo can really do justice to the scale of these stone wonders, and standing underneath them is quite an experience.
There is no entry fee to the Pantheon, so you can wander straight in off the street and take a look around. There's an instantly noticeable temperature change from the hot streets of Rome to the cool interior of the Pantheon - and it's quite a relief. During my visit, the building was absolutely packed - and that wasn't even in high tourist season. I thought it was quite amusing in the film Angels & Demons where Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) goes into the Pantheon in search of his next clue, and there's only about thirty people in there - yeah right! Anyway, once inside, the scale of the place is instantly apparent - look up and you'll see the largest un-reinforced concrete dome in the world (5,000 tonnes) - it's an amazing sight, and quite surreal. In the centre of the dome, 142 feet above the ground, is a huge circular hole known as the 'The Great Eye' which represents the buildings only source of light. On a sunny day, a visible sun-ray shines through the eye, making the setting even more magical.
The Pantheon has had many uses over the centuries; firstly (as mentioned in my second paragraph) as a temple to all gods. Secondly, in medieval times, as a Christian church, and finally, in the Renaissance to the present day, as a tomb. There are a number of important historical figures buried in the building, with probably the most recogniseable of all being the high Renaissance painter and architect Raphael (1483 - 1520) - although its amazing to consider that even he was buried there over 1,000 years after the buildings construction.
If you ever get a chance to visit Rome, the Pantheon will make for an interesting visit - a venue steeped in history, and one of the world's most important historical sites... plus it's free!
The Pantheon was originally built as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome.