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Until the 20th century The Pantheon was the largest concrete structure in the world and a source of architectural study for Michelangelo among others!
Here's some intersting facts for you to digest before you plan a visit. As one of the oldest functioning structures in Rome, the Pantheon has had many uses. Primarily, it is a burial place for several important Italian historical figures.
Pictures of the Roman Pantheon
The first instinct when you enter the Pantheon is to look up in awe at the magnificent dome overhead. It is the world's largest dome made of unreinforced solid concrete. When you enter the Pantheon and look around you'll notice tombs set into the walls. Audio guides and tours are avaliable to explain more about who's who! While it's famous for its rotunda, the Pantheon's grand portico entrance is a sight to behold in itself.
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Take a moment to wander amongst the beautiful corinthian columns before you leave. The only source of light in the Pantheon comes from the Oculus in the ceiling. This large hole floods the room with light and instantly draws the eye! Opening times vary throughout the year. Closed on: January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th. Not a thing. The Pantheon is free to visit all year round! This makes it the perfect spot to pop in and out of on a trip to Rome, or to linger a while longer and take a guided tour.
This is a perfect way to see Rome at sunset. We had been on our feet all day at the Vatican museum and Basilica etc. Giulia was very knowledgeable and is a wonderfully warm person. Of course, having done uni in the US, her English is impeccable. She greeted us with a beer and the whole trip was great from start to finish.
10 Facts About The Pantheon | Rome Guide - The Pantheon
With a maximum of 6 people on the tour it was absolutely a unique experience to learn about the history of an incredible city and have access that only a golf cart can provide kerbside at the colosseum? No problem. I truly cannot recommend this tour and Giulia enough. PS, her brother owns the business with his wife and it certainly feels like a family affair - but completely professional at the same time.
My two sisters and I only had 2 days in Rome and this tour made it possible to see as much as possible! The tour itself is excellent, the guide is very enthusiastic. Easy to find the meeting point and convenient drop off. The only draw back is they could manage the timing of the bus better. The bus send us back to the port 25 mins later than expected, leaving us only 5 mins before the all aboard time. So a group of us have to run to the port shuttle to catch the last shuttle back to ship.
A bit scared that we would miss the ship but luckily we are all fine and we are not alone. Even though it was early in day it worked out well as when day progresses it gets hot. Ziolkowski argues that Lanciani's initial assessment is still supported by all of the finds to date, including theirs; furthermore he expresses skepticism because the building they describe, "a single building composed of a huge pronaos and a circular cella of the same diameter, linked by a relatively narrow and very short passage much thinner than the current intermediate block , has no known parallels in classical architecture and would go against everything we know of Roman design principles in general and of Augustan architecture in particular.
The only passages referring to the decoration of the Agrippan Pantheon written by an eyewitness are in Pliny the Elder 's Natural History. From him we know that "the capitals, too, of the pillars, which were placed by M. Agrippa in the Pantheon, are made of Syracusan bronze",  that "the Pantheon of Agrippa has been decorated by Diogenes of Athens, and the Caryatides, by him, which form the columns of that temple, are looked upon as masterpieces of excellence: the same, too, with the statues that are placed upon the roof,"  and that one of Cleopatra's pearls was cut in half so that each half "might serve as pendants for the ears of Venus, in the Pantheon at Rome".
The Augustan Pantheon was destroyed along with other buildings in a huge fire in the year 80 AD. Domitian rebuilt the Pantheon, which was burnt again in AD. The degree to which the decorative scheme should be credited to Hadrian's architects is uncertain. The Historia Augusta says that Hadrian dedicated the Pantheon among other buildings in the name of the original builder Hadr.
Agrippa L. Cassius Dio , a Graeco-Roman senator, consul and author of a comprehensive History of Rome , writing approximately 75 years after the Pantheon's reconstruction, mistakenly attributed the domed building to Agrippa rather than Hadrian. Dio appears to be the only near-contemporaneous writer to mention the Pantheon. Even by the year , there was uncertainty about the origin of the building and its purpose:.
Agrippa finished the construction of the building called the Pantheon. It has this name, perhaps because it received among the images which decorated it the statues of many gods, including Mars and Venus; but my own opinion of the name is that, because of its vaulted roof, it resembles the heavens. Mary and the Martyrs on 13 May "Another Pope, Boniface, asked the same [Emperor Phocas, in Constantinople] to order that in the old temple called the Pantheon, after the pagan filth was removed, a church should be made, to the holy virgin Mary and all the martyrs, so that the commemoration of the saints would take place henceforth where not gods but demons were formerly worshipped.
The building's consecration as a church saved it from the abandonment, destruction, and the worst of the spoliation that befell the majority of ancient Rome's buildings during the early medieval period. Remaining at Rome twelve days he pulled down everything that in ancient times had been made of metal for the ornament of the city, to such an extent that he even stripped off the roof of the church [of the blessed Mary], which at one time was called the Pantheon, and had been founded in honour of all the gods and was now by the consent of the former rulers the place of all the martyrs; and he took away from there the bronze tiles and sent them with all the other ornaments to Constantinople.
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Much fine external marble has been removed over the centuries — for example, capitals from some of the pilasters are in the British Museum. In the early 17th century, Urban VIII Barberini tore away the bronze ceiling of the portico, and replaced the medieval campanile with the famous twin towers often wrongly attributed to Bernini  called "the ass's ears,"  which were not removed until the late 19th century. The marble interior has largely survived, although with extensive restoration.
Since the Renaissance the Pantheon has been the site of several important burials. Among those buried there are the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci , the composer Arcangelo Corelli , and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. Filippo Brunelleschi , among other architects, looked to the Pantheon as inspiration for their works. Most of the bronze was used to make bombards for the fortification of Castel Sant'Angelo , with the remaining amount used by the Apostolic Camera for various other works.
The Pantheon in Rome Basilica of Santa Maria and Martyres
It is also said that the bronze was used by Bernini in creating his famous baldachin above the high altar of St. In , the broad frieze below the dome with its false windows was "restored," but bore little resemblance to the original. In the early decades of the 20th century, a piece of the original, as could be reconstructed from Renaissance drawings and paintings, was recreated in one of the panels.
The Pantheon is in use as a Catholic church. Masses are celebrated there on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Weddings are also held there from time to time. On 23 July , the Pantheon was established as Cardinal-deaconry of S. Maria ad Martyres, i. On 26 May , this deaconry was suppressed to establish the Cardinal Deaconry of S. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine. The building was originally approached by a flight of steps.
Later construction raised the level of the ground leading to the portico, eliminating these steps. The pediment was decorated with relief sculpture, probably of gilded bronze.
Holes marking the location of clamps that held the sculpture suggest that its design was likely an eagle within a wreath; ribbons extended from the wreath into the corners of the pediment. Mark Wilson Jones has attempted to explain the design adjustments carried out in relating the porch to the dome, arguing that the Pantheon's porch was originally designed for monolithic granite columns with shafts 50 Roman feet tall weighing about tonnes and capitals 10 Roman feet tall in the Corinthian style.
Instead, after the intended columns failed to arrive, the builders made many awkward adjustments in order to use shafts 40 Roman feet tall and capitals eight Roman feet tall. Alternatively, it has also been argued that the scale of the portico related to the urban design of the space in front of the temple. Each was They were floated by barge down the Nile River when the water level was high during the spring floods, and then transferred to vessels to cross the Mediterranean Sea to the Roman port of Ostia.
There, they were transferred back onto barges and pulled up the Tiber River to Rome. In the walls at the back of the Pantheon's portico are two huge niches, perhaps intended for statues of Augustus Caesar and Agrippa. The large bronze doors to the cella , once plated with gold, are not the original ones of the Pantheon.
The current doors — manufactured too small for the door frames — have been there since about the 15th century. The 4, tonne weight of the Roman concrete dome is concentrated on a ring of voussoirs 9. The thickness of the dome varies from 6. At its thickest point, the aggregate is travertine , then terracotta tiles, then at the very top, tufa and pumice , both porous light stones. At the very top, where the dome would be at its weakest and vulnerable to collapse, the oculus actually lightens the load.
An empirical relationship gives a tensile strength of 1.
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