The Pantheon is one of the most iconic structures of Rome, Italy. It is actually a Christian church and is the best-preserved ancient Roman building. It is the single largest concrete dome in the entire world and it is not even reinforced. The dome measures 142 feet in both height and diameter.
It was built by Emperor Hadrian between 119 and 128 AD. It is the third version of the structure that we see today. Two buildings also existed at the same place and both of them were burned down in fires. The first structure was built in 27 BC and the second one was built in 1 AD.
Quick Facts: –
- The original Pantheon is believed to be dedicated to Romulus who is the mythological founder of Ancient Rome.
- The opening of the dome is known as the Oculus. It is the only source of light for the entire structure.
- It was originally built as a pagan temple dedicated to all the gods. When it was gifted to Pope Boniface IV, it was consecrated as the church of St Mary and the Martyrs.
- The famous ‘Fountain of the Pantheon’ is just in front of the structure. It was designed by Giacomo Della Porta in 1575.
- The interior of the building has a cylindrical shape which is covered by a half of a sphere.
- Pope Urban VIII added two bell towers to the structure as well but they were eventually removed in 1883.
- The building has its well hidden drainage holes to get rid of the rainwater that comes through the Oculus.
- The building also holds the tomb of the famous artist Raphael.