The Roman Pantheon is one of the architectural masterpieces of the Italian capital. It is the best preserved building from the ancient Rome. The Pantheon is the only structure of its age and size that has successfully survived the damage of time and gravity, still intact with all its splendor and beauty.
The construction of the current Pantheon was carried out during the reign of Hadrian, in the year 126 A.D. The Pantheon first was pagan temple and then transformed into a church. Today it is a church dedicated to St. Mary of the Martyrs.
The circular building has exactly the same diameter as its height: 43.5 metres. The dome is bigger than that of Saint Peter's Basilica. At its top, a 9 metre diameter opening allows natural light to illuminate the entire building. When raining, the rain comes through the hole and the rainwater is drained away using the ancient drainage system.
The interior has the shape of cylinder covered by a half of a sphere. There are no windows inside but the large oculus! The Pantheon now contains the tombs of the famous artist Raphael and of several Italian Kings and poets. The marble floor, which features a design consisting of a series of geometric patterns, is still the ancient Roman original.
The rectangular facade that hides the enormous dome is comprised of 16 massive Corinthian columns (each weights 60 tons). They are 12 m tall and 1.5 m in diameter and brought all the way from Egypt.
In front of the Pantheon is the beautiful Fountain of the Pantheon. It way designed by famous architecture Giacomo Della Porta in 1575 and sculpted out of marble by Leonardo Sormani. In 1711, Pope Clement XI requested that the fountain be modified and had Filippo Barignoni design a new layout, which included a different basin, made of stone, and the obelisk of Ramses II set in the centre on a plinth with four dolphins decorating the base.
The outside the Pantheon there are usually crowd of people at any time, some taking photos while other enjoying at cafes on the Piazza della Rotonda.
It is situated in the centre of Rome, on Piazza della Rotonda, just between the Via del Corso and Piazza Navona. For those staying in the historic centre of Rome will be easy to reach it on foot.
If using the metro, the Barberini stop on the line A will be convenient to reach the Pantheon. From this stop you need to walk for about 10 minutes to get there. Piazza Navona and Campo de' Fiori are very close to the Pantheon.
If you arrive by bus you should go to Largo di Torre Argentina stop by following buses: no. 30, 40, 62, 64, 81, 87, 492.
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