Facts About the Pantheon

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  • The Pantheon is the best-preserved ancient Roman building in Rome, largely because the Pantheon was turned into a church, it was kept remarkably well-preserved. In fact, you can still experience the building much as the ancient Romans would have.
  • The Oculus which is the opening of the dome and the source of light for the Pantheon is 8.8 metres in diameter.
  • The rotunda of the Pantheon is a perfect hemisphere which measures 43.2 m
    in diameter which is exactly the maximum height of the dome.
  • The bronze decoration of the Pantheon has been gradually stripped away
    over the centuries for use elsewhere. In 1631 Pope Urban VIII Barberini
    famously and controversially stripped the bronze from the inside of the
    portico to make cannons for Castel Sant’ Angelo giving rise to the
    saying “quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini” (what the
    barbarians didn’t do, the barberini did).
  • The tombs of the first two kings of the unified Kingdom of Italy,
    Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I can both be found in the Pantheon,
    along with the tomb of Umberto’s wife, Queen Margherita (yes, the pizza queen)
  • The inscription indicates that the Pantheon was built by Marcus Agrippa
    at the time of his third consulate (27 BC).  However, Agrippa’s original
    Pantheon burned down in 80 AD and was followed by another two later
    versions which were also destroyed. The present structure was in fact
    built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian and dates from between 119-128
  • It took the ancient Roman’s 4-5 years to build the walls of the Rotunda and another 4-5 years to build the dome itself.

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