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The Pantheon is a unique monument of ancient Roman architecture located nearby Campus Martius in Rome. The magnificent temple has been well preserved till present days.
The first Pantheon was built in the 1st century BC in honour of the victory over Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt. But this temple was burnt and a new one was built on its place in 125 AD. The columns of the previous temple were used for the construction. That was the time of Adrian Emperor ruling when the temple was completely built. It is believed, the emperor was the architect of the temple’s dome. The temple was named as “Pantheon”, meaning “the temple of all gods” in Greek.
Nowadays, the Pantheon is one of the biggest buildings preserved from the times of the Roman Empire. According to old legends, during the construction of the Pantheon’s dome, the ground inside the building was mixed with gold coins. After the works had been finished the Emperor let everyone who found a coin to take it away. But most scientists believe, architects and builders of the Renaissance, who couldn’t find out the secret of this mysterious building’s construction, concocted such legends.
The unique temple’s style is full of contrasts. Severe and rather plane façade of the building is in total harmony with its tender interior. The huge hall is made in warm golden-brown tones. The marble walls show a fantastic light’s reflection, which comes inside the building through a round hole located at the zenith of the dome. In ancient times, it was the place where the sacrificial altar was situated. The altar served for animals’ immolation. The main hall has the form of an ideal sphere; the walls are six meters thick and the width of the dome reaches almost forty three meters.
The Pantheon has become the final resting place for many famous Italians. King Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel II, Queen Margaret, as well as famous artists Rafael, Federico Zuccari and Annibale Carracci were buried there. For thousands of years, the building has impressed its visitors. Its power and greatness based on simple architectural elements are the main feature of this ancient monument.
The Pantheon has experienced the moments of fame and the moments of total oblivion, but has always attracted a lot of tourists from all over the world. You can get to the temple by a bus or a tram, as well as by an underground. You should go to Largo di Torre Argentina Station. You can also get there on foot walking in the central part of Rome: going from Piazza di Spagna along via del Corso.