"Every one soon or late comes round by Rome."
Robert Browning Hamilton
The Pantheon, or simply the Rotonda, as the Romans call it, is perhaps the most special building in Rome, and the very model of all modern temples: Michelangelo himself considered it a divine and not human.
With its simplicity and grandiosity at the same time, the Pantheon in Rome makes an immediate impression on visitors who never forget it. It is one of the main actraction in the Italian capital and one of the most interesting Dome in the world.
It was the largest dome in the world before the Florence Cathedral by Brunelleschi was constructed in 15 century. At the beginning, it was built as a Roman temple (by Agrippa in the I century b. C.): the name, coming from the ancient Greek, means temple of all gods – τό Πάνθειον (ἱερόν)
Later it was consecrated as a Catholic Church. There is an impressive mixture of different architectural styles: for example the huge, 60 tons weighing columns used for the portico were quarried in Egypt.
The particularity is at the top of the dome where there is a large opening, the oculus, which was the only source of light with almost 9 meters of diameter. A curiosity about the oculus is its'"stack effect": in fact, when it rains, the airs leads to fragmentation of the drops of water, so it seems it does not rain inside. The dome is bigger than the St. Peter's one.
(credits: tore urnes)
Trust me: Rome is full of treasures, you can find incredible things at any corners. But some places have more magician than others. Pantheon is on the the top 5.
The Pantheon is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on holidays that fall on weekdays except for Christmas Day, New Year's Day and May 1, when it is closed.
Admission is free