In keeping with a previous post about another Rome monument, this entry will be about the Pantheon. Built in the early 2nd century, designed by Hadrian and a temple dedicated to all the gods, the Pantheon is truly one of the great buildings of the world.
It is the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world and is 43 m across and from the top of the drum to the ceiling center it is also 43 m; a perfect hemisphere.
It was preserved even through Rome’s darkest hours; even the Popes knew this was a special building. It was dedicated as a Catholic church for all martyrs in the early 7th century and Raphael is buried in it.
The bronze doors you walk through are the originals; nearly 2 000 years old.
The columns in the portico are granite. The dome was originally roofed with bronze plates but a Barberini Pope had them removed and melted down to make the bronze baldocchino in New St Peter’s basilica in the Vatican.
If you are planning a visit to Italy soon I have written 2 walking tour guide books to Rome that you can purchase here or at Amazon or Barnes and Noble plus I have a great deal of travel information about Italy and Rome here at my Travels webpages.