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; 43 m across and from the top of the drum to the ceiling center is also 43 m – a perfect hemisphere.
It was preserved 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.
The bronze doors you walk through are the originals; nearly 2 000 years old.
The columns in the portico are granite. The dome’s roof was obronze plates but a Barberini Pope had them removed and melted down to make the bronze baldacchino in New St Peter’s basilica in the Vatican.