Who built Rome’s Historic Pantheon?

The Pantheon, a landmark of the Campus Martius...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Close-up of the ceiling of the Panthe...

English: Close-up of the ceiling of the Pantheon in Rome (Italy) highlighted by a sunbeam. Nederlands: Close-up van het plafond van het Pantheon in Rome (Italië) opgelicht door een zonnestraal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Pantheon in Rome.

English: The Pantheon in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Painting by Giovanni Paolo Pannini of the Pant...

Painting by Giovanni Paolo Pannini of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy, after its conversion to a church. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pantheon Rome #2

Pantheon Rome #2 (Photo credit: Stoic Meditation)

East side of the Pantheon in Rome.

East side of the Pantheon in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

English: The Pantheon in Rome, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plan of the first ( Red ) (by Marcus Vipsanius...

Plan of the first ( Red ) (by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa) and of the third (Black) (by Hadrian) Pantheon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

complete cupola of Pantheon Rome

complete cupola of Pantheon Rome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pantheon in Rome has occupied its present location for nearly 2000 years. It was originally designed in 27 B.C. as a pagan temple for all twelve Roman deities; supernatural and immortal beings. The deities were Apollo, Ceres, Diana, Juno, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Venus, Vesta and Vulcan.

Pantheon - Rome (LOC)

Pantheon – Rome (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Русский: Внутреннее убранство Пантеона

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The massive original doors are still used for entry into the Basilica.

 Pantheon Doors in Rome Italy

English: Pantheon (temple to all the gods of a...

Image via Wikipedia

The structure is as wide as it is tall (140 x 140 feet).  The 30 foot wide oculus in the roof is the only source of light and was designed to allow the smoke from the burning of sacrificed animals to escape. The hemispherical dome was made from un-reinforced concrete and is still the largest dome in the world of its type.

Pantheon Oculus in Rome Italy

Circular exterior view of the side of the Pantheon

The coffers for the concrete dome were poured in molds. Eight massive granite columns support the triangular tympanon. 

Agrippa was the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus. Agrippa’s name is still inscribed in the trabeation above the portico in Latin and bears the inscription “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, Consul for the third time built this.”

Marcus Agrippa in Rome Italy

Pantheon Restoration

Agrippa did not really build the Pantheon; he built an earlier temple on this site in 27 B.C. that was ravaged by a fire. The Pantheon was built in 125 AD during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. 

Pope Boniface IV

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The Pantheon was given to Pope Boniface IV in 609 and he converted it into a church and named it Santa Maria ad Martyres. Pope Boniface had 28 carloads of martyrs’ bones brought here from various cemeteries in Rome. It became the first pagan temple to be consecrated as a church.

English: An image of the tomb of Umberto I in ...

English: An image of the tomb of Umberto I in the Pantheon, in Rome, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Saint Mary and the Martyrs Church in Rome

Saint Mary and the Martyrs houses the mortal remains of Raphael in an ancient marble sarcophagus. Raphael died in 1520.  The bust of Raphael located in the niche left of the aedicule and was completed in 1833 by Giueseppe Fabris.

The tomb of the fist king of Italy, King Victor Emanuele II (1820-1878), has a statue of St. Ann and the Virgin in the aedicule to the left of the tomb by Lorenzo Ottoni.

English: Pantheon, Rome, Raphael's tomb.

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Tomb of King VIctor Emanuele II in Rome ItalyTomb of Raphael at the Pantheon in Rome Italy

Bronze bust of Raphael on top of the artist's ...

Image via Wikipedia

Most of the marble was recycled for St. Peter’s Basilica. In 1625, Pope Urban VIII (Barberini) removed the bronze from the beams of the portico to make 80 cannons for Castel Sant’Angelo and the four spiral columns of Bernini’s Baldachinno in St. Peter’s Basilica. The colossal bronze doors are original. Today we might consider that a “green” ecologically friendly move but the Roman’s say, “Whatever the barbarians didn’t do, the Barberini did.” The tomb of Victor Emanuele II was then created from bronze that was recast from the Castel Sant’Angelo’s cannons at the turn of the 20th century.

Interior view of the Pantheon in Rome Italy

 

 

The general area around the Pantheon is the financial and political hub of the city and includes the stock exchange and Parliament. I think the Cafe Agrippa is a great place for a “Vino con Vista”!

Cafe Agrippa at the Pantheon in Rome

The Piazza della Rotunda is the name of the square in front of the Pantheon. One of Rome’s prized Egyptian obelisks occupies the center of the square. Did you know that you will never get lost in Rome if you follow the obelisks? They  are like a Roman GPS system that mark important landmarks in Rome.

Piazza della Rotunda obelisk in Rome Italy in front of the Pantheon

 

Fountain in the Piazza della Rotunda in front of the Pantheon in Rome

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy and  Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

To learn more about Rome visit www.vino-con-vista.com

Buon Viaggio–

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Filed under Ancient Rome, ebooks, IPad, Italian art, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Pantheon, Renaissance Art, Roman Architecture, Roman Emperors, Rome, Rome History, Rome Italy, UNESCO, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

13 responses to “Who built Rome’s Historic Pantheon?

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