"Pantheon inside and out" Top 5 Page for this destination Pantheon Tip by icunme
Pantheon, Rome: 272 reviews and 577 photos
Unlike most huge monuments, the Pantheon takes only a moment to be overwhelmed by its beauty - stop at the portico - take a few steps - look ahead - left - right - upward -- it is all right there before your eyes. The immense vault, suspended overhead seemingly without support is crowned by the open circle - rays of sunlight bath the devout as their prayers rise to the heavens.
Rome's only monument that is architecturally intact from classical times. In reality, no one knows when it was built, but supposedly by Agrippa in 27 BC (due to the inscription "M Agrippa....") - actually it was destroyed by fire in 80 AD and redesigned by Hadrian. Hadrian said, "My intentions had been that this sanctuary of All Gods should reproduce the likeness of the terrestrial globe and of the stellar sphere...The cupola...revealed the sky through a great hole at the center, showing alternately dark and blue. This temple, both open and mysteriously enclosed, was conceived as a solar quadrant. The hours would make their round on that caissoned ceiling so carefully polished by Greek artisans; the disk of daylight would rest suspended there like a shield of gold; rain would form its clear pool on the pavement below, prayers would rise like smoke toward that void where we place the gods."
With the permission of Emperor Phocas in 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV converted the pagan temple into a Christian church - in 1929 it was named Basilica Palatina. The interior measures 43.4 meters (width & height). The thickness of the cupola diminishes as it rises. Light and air enter as prayers rise through the opening at the top - almost 9 meters across. Many famous people are buried here including Raphael and the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia.
Try to take your time here - come back when its not too crowded.
Photo and reference text by permission Robert Piperno non-commercial purpose only
Address: Piazza della Rontonda
Directions: Piazza Rotonda
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