12 Fascinating Facts About the Rome Pantheon That Will Amaze You
While there were many temples built throughout the Roman empire, none of them have been continually in service for the last 2,000 years. But how much do you really know about this iconic monument? Catch the most exciting Rome Pantheon facts ahead of your visit for a truly immersive experience. Unearth its mysterious origins. Marvel at its architectural wonder and dig deeper into its spiritual significance. Explore intriguing stories that have endured for millennia within these hallowed walls.
12 Interesting Rome Pantheon Facts
1. Oldest Standing Structure in Rome
The Pantheon is over 2,000 years old, making it one of the oldest standing structures in Rome. Its enduring construction has withstood the test of time.
2. Pantheon was Originally Commissioned by Marcus Agrippa
The original Pantheon was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa, a Roman statesman and general, in 27 BC. However, the current structure is believed to have been rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD.
3. Originally a Temple
The Pantheon was initially built as a temple dedicated to all Roman gods. It served as a place of worship and reverence for the ancient Romans.
4. Unreinforced Concrete Dome
The dome of the Pantheon is its most remarkable feature. It is the largest unsupported concrete dome in the world, showcasing ancient Roman architectural ingenuity.
5. Diameter of the Dome is Proportionate With the Height
The Pantheon's architecture follows the principles of symmetry and harmony. The diameter of the dome is equal to the height of the building, creating an aesthetically pleasing and balanced structure.
6. Oculus: The Only Source of Natural Light
At the center of the dome is the Oculus, a circular opening measuring about 8.2 meters (27 feet) in diameter. It is the only source of natural light and ventilation in the Pantheon.
7. Rain-Water Proof
Despite the Pantheon's open oculus, the interior remains relatively dry even during heavy rainfall. The sloped marble floor and the drainage system beneath it efficiently funnel rainwater away, preventing flooding inside the building.
8. Uniquely Intact Bronze Doors
The massive bronze doors at the entrance of the Pantheon are original and date back to antiquity. These doors, weighing around 20 tons each, are considered to be the largest ancient bronze doors in existence.
9. The Central Corinthian Column is Known as 'Pillar of Woes'
At the entrance of the Pantheon, there are seven large granite Corinthian columns forming the portico. According to local belief, touching the central column, known as the "Pillar of Woes" or "Column of Matidia," can bring good luck and heal physical ailments.
10. The Marble Origin of Pantheon is a Mystery
The interior of the Pantheon is adorned with lavish marble finishes. Historians believe that the stone was sourced from different regions of the Roman Empire, including Egypt, Greece, and Turkey. However, the specific quarries from which the marble were extracted remain uncertain.
11. Final Resting Place of Notable Figures
The Pantheon serves as the final resting place for several notable figures. Among them is the renowned artist Raphael, who is buried in a tomb located inside the building.
12. Transformation into a Church
In the 7th century, the Pantheon was consecrated as a Christian church, saving it from destruction. It remains an active place of worship and a popular tourist attraction today.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Interesting Rome Pantheon Facts
The original Pantheon was built by Marcus Agrippa in 27 BC. However, the current structure we see today is believed to have been rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian around 126 AD.
The Rome Pantheon holds great historical, architectural, and cultural significance. It showcases the advanced engineering skills of the ancient Romans and serves as a testament to their religious beliefs and reverence for the gods.
The dome of the Rome Pantheon has a diameter of approximately 43.3 meters (142 feet). It is one of the largest domes in the world and was a remarkable engineering feat in its time.
The dome of the Pantheon is constructed using a combination of concrete and various lightweight materials, such as pumice stone. This technique made the dome lighter and more structurally sound.
The oculus is a circular opening at the top of the Pantheon's dome. It serves as the only source of natural light and ventilation, creating a unique interplay of light and shadow within the interior.
Yes, the Pantheon serves as the final resting place for several notable figures. One of the most renowned is the artist Raphael, who is buried in a tomb inside the building.
Yes, the Pantheon is an active Catholic church. Masses and religious services are held inside, adding to its cultural and spiritual significance.
The dome's construction incorporated a progressive reduction in thickness from the base to the top, which decreased the weight while maintaining structural stability. Additionally, the dome's design distributes the weight evenly along the supporting walls.
No, entry to the Rome Pantheon is free for visitors. However, there might be lines during peak tourist seasons, so it's advisable to arrive early to avoid crowds.
Yes, photography is generally allowed inside the Pantheon. However, the use of flash photography or tripods may be restricted to ensure the safety and comfort of other visitors.
The construction of the Pantheon is believed to have taken around ten years, from 118 to 128 AD.
The Rome Pantheon hosts various religious ceremonies and events throughout the year, particularly during significant Christian holidays and feast days.