Commissioned by Marcus Agrippa, restored by Domitian, and subsequently rebuilt by Hadrian (who added the dome), the Pantheon ... More
Commissioned by Marcus Agrippa, restored by Domitian, and subsequently rebuilt by Hadrian (who added the dome), the Pantheon was turned into a church in the early 7th Century by Pope Boniface IV. The building's sole source of light is the opening at the dome's apex (the oculus); according to popular legend, this formed the base for the bronze pine cone that is now in the Vatican's Pigna courtyard, where it is used as a fountain. Many famous Italians are buried in the Pantheon, including Renaissance painter Raphael and King Vittorio Emanuele I.
You wander down some cobbled Italian side streets, and walk round the corner and literally have your breath taken away by the sight of this huge, complete Roman temple, surrounded by Italian buildings as if it shouldn't be there. But of course it has been there for almost 2000 years, and the other buildings are just youthful intruders! A building with a magical feel, so mystical I made me want to cry, unlike the empty feeling I had had in St Peter's Basilica earlier in the day. The most memorable part of my trip.
standing in the middle, looking up to the ceiling and through the little hole into the blue sky, it's a pretty darn amazing feeling. inconceivable that this building in such good shape after all these years. those guys could build!
The Pantheon is Awesome!! and awe-inspiring. It was especially interesting after having read Angels and Demons. Actually seeing the sites mentioned in the book was quite satisfying. It is definitely worth the walk to view it.
Contrary to another review, we found the ongoing restoration to be extremely interesting. It enabled you to see both the restored dome and the pre-restoration effects of weather and time. The Pantheon is a world treasure, and Rome deserves credit for avoding turning it into a temporary billboard (like the church above the Spanish Steps) during the restoration.
unbelieveable, awesome, breath-taking-- how did they do it? Why can't we do things like that today? Photos can not convey the feeling of standing inside--anyone at all interested in architecture MUST see in person.