When you walk around Rome looking for those amazing roman buildings you will realize there really isn’t that many well preserved ancient buildings left. But one really stand out as a super well preserved building which has remain to this day almost intact. It is the Pantheon – which basically mean the temple for all the gods. Hence it was built as a special temple in the center of Rome where you could go and worship all the gods of the roman world.
The reason the temple is so well preserved is it has remain in use continuously since the construction of the temple during the rule of Trajan and Hadrian in 113-125 AD till this day. When Christianity replaced the old gods of Rome they eventually took over the building converting it into a church in 609.
The first thing you see when you approach the Pantheon is the large columns on the portico in front of the temple. When you walk through the giant doors you get inside the big room under a dome. The dome is the most impressive feature of the building – even today almost 2,000 years after the construction of the Pantheon this dome is still the biggest unreinforced concrete dome ever build anywhere in the world. In the middle of the dome is a hole which will let natural light inside the interior of the building – and a bit of water in case of rain.
The walls in the round room of the Pantheon are pretty with the marble and columns and it is one of the most impressive rooms in the city of Rome. There is a section which serves the congregation of the church which is regularly open for service so unless you want to take part in the service you will have to time your visit so it is outside the hours of the mass.
The prestige of the build is seen in the few people who is actually buried inside the church which is Rafael the painter and the two first kings of a unified Italy.
I have visited this building every time I have been to Rome and do think this is my most favored of all the sights in the city – the construction of the building was just so ahead of its time and have been standing here through the history making it such a remarkable place. And the fact there is no entrance fee to this unique place just makes it even easier to make the decision to go inside and enjoy the wonderful building whenever I get the chance to go to Rome.