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Rome: The Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the most recognized, and oldest monuments still standing in Rome, Italy. With this post, we’ll learn together about the story and history of the Pantheon in Rome.

Originally built as a temple to all of the Roman gods, the Pantheon (originally built around 27 BC) was torn down and rebuilt by emperor Hadrian around 120 AD. That structure is the same as the one you will see when you visit today. The Pantheon is the oldest intact structure still standing from the Greco-Roman world. It has been used continuously throughout the past millenniums. This must be the reason that it’s still in such an incredibly perfect shape.

The Pantheon

The building of the Pantheon is a complete circle, with an opening in the ceiling that looks out onto the sky above. The opening is meant to symbolize the eye of heaven looking down over the temple, and being “all-seeing” to the world below.

There are three different levels of granite columns, and bronze doors that have remained in the Pantheon for over 1,800 years. The height of the dome is exactly equal to the diameter of the circular interior of the building. It’s amazing to think back under what conditions the Pantheon was originally built under. All that along with seeing what the early Romans were able to create so many years ago!

Visiting the Pantheon in Rome can be a truly awe-inspiring look back at history. It’s amazing to stand in the middle of the structure and look up into the sky, standing in the same place and in the same structure that people have visited for almost 2,000 years. It’s amazing to think that the same structure we see today was built before the time of chainsaws and machinery. The fact that it has remained not only intact but also in such pristine conditions over all of these years.

If you are visiting Italy, especially Rome, then visiting the Pantheon is something that you really must do. The Pantheon area of Rome is a tourist attraction that pulls in people from around the world. It’s also something that everyone who visits Rome usually goes to see, but there is a good reason why. You will undoubtedly run into a good deal of tourists when you make your trek, so come prepared to deal with the crowds.

Visiting Information for the Pantheon in Rome

The Pantheon is one of the best things to do in Rome, so you definitely shouldn’t miss it! Visiting the Pantheon is free to the public, and the Pantheon welcomes tour groups of all shapes and sizes ( now for a fee). There are several different tour options available in several different languages, so everyone should be able to enjoy a trip.

The Oculus and the Divine Connection

The Pantheon was originally built as a temple dedicated to all Roman gods, and its name literally means “of all gods” in Greek. The oculus at the top of the dome is not just an architectural marvel but also had religious significance. It was believed to connect the temple to the heavens, allowing divine intervention to enter the sacred space.

According to legend, when the Roman Emperor Hadrian inspected the completed Pantheon, he was displeased to find that the dome had no opening to the sky. The architects, fearing Hadrian’s wrath, hastily decided to create an oculus. However, they were amazed to find that a beam of light entered through the oculus and illuminated the entrance to the temple. It seemed almost as though the gods themselves had approved of their work.

The Mystery of the Rain

Another curious feature of the oculus is the apparent “rain-shielding” quality of the Pantheon’s interior. Despite the opening at the top, rainwater rarely enters and wets the inner areas of the Pantheon. This phenomenon has led to a variety of theories, including the possibility that the angle and aerodynamics of the dome help to evaporate the rainwater before it reaches the ground, or that the marble floor quickly absorbs any rain that does manage to enter.

Whether it’s the divine symbolism of the oculus, the pioneering construction techniques, or the mysterious interaction with natural elements, the Pantheon has long been a subject of both scientific and mystical fascination. It continues to be one of Rome’s most visited and studied ancient landmarks, a testament to the enduring allure of its history and design.

It is also located near the Piazza della Rotonda, a square that is filled with a variety of restaurants and shops. Visiting the Piazza della Rotonda, and the Pantheon can make for a fantastic summer afternoon. Visit the Pantheon in the morning and spend your afternoon shopping and dining in the square.

5 Euros fee for tourists, free for Rome residents, worshippers, and those under 18

In March 2023, the Culture Minister introduced a 5€ entry fee to this monument.

Entry will remain free for Rome residents, worshippers, everyone under 18, and handicapped visitors and their caregivers.

The Ministry of Culture has announced that a 5€ entry fee was implemented in July, 2023

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