The Pantheon is one of the top 5 touristic attractions in Rome, and certainly one of my favourites.
Being an avid fan of Greek and Roman mythology, it was a unique experience be in the temple dedicated to all the Roman gods. Pan = All, Theos = gods: the Pantheon was the place of worship of all the gods in Ancient Rome.
After it had been destroyed, it was rebuilt by Maxime Agrippa and since Christianity was brought to Rome, the Pantheon became a place of Christian worhip, which is one of the (other) things I love about this place.
When you step in, directly ahead of you is the altar, on which you can admire a chandelier with several candles. There used to be statues of Roman gods and goddesses, which were replaced by images of the Virgin Mary, which you can still see today.
The Pantheon, the Altar
Romans were extremely superstituous, and a visit to the Pantheon could be used as a way to appease the gods and avoid being cursed by bad will.
And then, you look up and… there you have it. The Pantheon iconic dome.
142 feet from side to side, and in height! Made of concrete (a Roman invention), it gets wider and thinner as it gets higher.
This oculus, or sunroof, is the only light source of the light in the Pantheon, and back then, was also considered as the way of direct communication between the gods and men.
The Pantheon, the Dome
This dome inspired the Dome of the St Peters Basilica, Vatican, and even, the White House in the USA!
The Pantheon floor, 1800 years old, was designed with holes to allow for water to be evacuated in the event of raining.
The Pantheon was not just a place for all gods, but also , religions and all people.
Today, it is a renowned Christian nonument, a historical site and also the place of burial of some of Italy’s most renowned personalities:
Raphael, renowned Renaissance Painter who worked closely with Michelangelo – was buried there.
Victor Emanuele II, the Father of the Nation, Italy’s firs thing after reunification was also buried there.
Tomb of Victor Emanuele II
Umberto d’Italia: son of Victor Emanuele II, who became King of Italy after his father died.
Interesting fact: his wife, Margherita, is the one after whom the famous Margherita Pizza was named!
Tomb of Umberto d’Italia
What I loved about this site: the setting and the background, the pillars, the columns and the design of this structure just made me feel like I was in a medieval movie.
I also loved the fact that it used to be a worship temple for the Pagan gods, and since Christianity was brought to Rome, it is now a Christian temple with a historical background and remains a sacred sightseeing monument.