With a history of nearly 2000 years, the Pantheon is the best preserved roman building in the world. Once a Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a catholic church, and one of the main attractions in Rome.
Although the inscription on the frontispiece shows that it was built by Marcus Agrippa, the Roman consul, Agrippa’s pantheon was built in fact during the reign of Augustus, between 27 and 25 BC, and it burned in the year 80 AD. The façade was the only part to be saved, that was later used to rebuild the new pantheon.
The temple was rebuilt by the Emperor Domitian, but it was burnt again in 110 AD. Today’s building was built between the years 118 and 125 AD, during the reign of Hadrian.
In 609, Pope Bonifacio IV converted the Pantheon into a Christian church and consecrated it to St. Mary and the Martyrs.
Two kings of Italy are buried in the Pantheon – Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi.
At 43 meters wide and 43 meters high, the Pantheon’s dome is a perfect sphere resting on a cylinder. The oculus, the only source of natural light in the Pantheon, is a round opening in the centre of the dome.
The portico presents a front colonnade of eight Corinthian columns. The interior of the porch has four pink columns creating three aisles.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest Metro station to the Pantheon is Colosseo, about 1.6 kilometers or 20 minutes of walking. Although it may seem long, it is one of the most beautiful roads you can make through Rome, which starts from the Colosseum and passes by the Roman Forum and Altare della Patria (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II). For walking directions, use the map below.