Route: CHURCHES IN TEMPLES. THE NEW FACE OF THE SACRED
Piazza della Rotonda www.polomusealelazio.beniculturali.it Every day. Monday-Saturday:…
You are along the route: COURAGE FROM FAITH. THE SITES OF MARTYRDOM
Piazza della Rotonda
Every day. Monday-Saturday: 9:00-19:30. Sunday: 9:00-18:00. Bank holidays (not on w/e): 9:00-13:00. Closed on December 25th, January 1st, May 1st. Free entry.
Dedicated to the worship of all the gods, the Pantheon was built by Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 AD, transforming the former temple of the Augustan age. The traditional facade with columns topped by a pediment hides a large cylindrical body covered by an extraordinary dome. The exceptional diameter of more than 43 m corresponds exactly to the height from the ground to the summit, suggesting a perfect sphere and clear symbolic reference to the celestial sphere. Made of lightweight concrete, the vault was lit by the hole, ‘oculus’, of almost nine meters in diameter through which, according to legend, the ancient pagan gods and demons left the Pantheon when the temple was dedicated to all the martyrs as a Christian church in 609, with the name of Santa Maria ad Martyres.
In 1870 it became the sanctuary of the kings of Italy and the Pantheon houses the remains of Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy; the high Renaissance artist Raphael is also buried here.