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It’s absolutely one of the best preserved buildings from Ancient Rome. Pantheon is a majestic testament achieved by brilliant architects and engineers. It was built from 118 AD to 128 AD on the site of two earlier temples, commissioned respectively by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Domitianus. They were important holy places for devout people but they both were destroyed by different fires that happened in the ancient Rome. The current and perfectly intact temple dedicated to the all Olympian gods was ordered by the emperor Hadrian. The name of Agrippa on the top of the temple is due to Hadrian’s common practise of dedicating rebuilt buildings in honour of the original dedicator. M. AGRIPPA L.F. COS TERTIUM FECIT (Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, three-time consul, made this).
Two legends concern this famous building. According to the first one, the area where Pantheon is situated was the exact place in which Romolo, the founder of Rome, after being killed by his brother, Remo, was grabbed by an eagle and carried out between gods. The second legend is about the oculus on the dome, the main source of natural light. It was told that the oculus was created by the devil while escaping from the temple of gods.
In the matter of the oculus, in the past people thought that rain couldn’t enter in the temple thanks to the heat and the soot of the candles that were inside. Actually, rain enter heavely the Pantheon, the reason why the floor was built with 22 holes to allow dripping.
In 609 AD the temple was converted into a Christian Church and consecrated it to St. Mary and the Martyrs. Nowadays it’s possible to take part in Masses on Sudays and on other holy days. In addition Pantheon houses the tombs of important Italian kings like Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, but not only. Also the famous Renaissance painter Raphael is buried here.
So what are you waiting for? Be ready to step back 2000 years to live again the glory of Rome between pagan and christian religion.