The Pantheon temple is the most influential and well preserved building of ancient Rome. It is dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome and it is considered an amazing example Roman architecture of the of second century.
The Pantheon was build by emperor Hadrian to replace Augustus' friend and Commander Marcus Agrippa's Pantheon, which was destroyed by fire in 80 A.D.
There is a large piazza in front of the Pantheon called Piazza della Rotonda with Fontana del Pantheon. The fountain made by Giacomo della Porta was added to the square in 1575 and originally it was without obelisk. The Egyptian obelisk was added 150 years later.
This ancient monument dominates the whole square so fully it has given the piazza's name. It is very popular during the Segway Grand City tour to take pictures of the fountain with Pantheon in the background.
Sign on the Pantheon
"M AGRIPPA L F COSTERTIUM FECIT"
There is the inscription in Latin on the front approach of the Pantheon. This sign is dedication by Marcus Agrippa. The sign means:
"Marcus Agrippa son of Lucius, having been consul three times made it."
The triangle section, or pediment, is blank today. However, it used to be home to a scultpture that acted out the battle of the Titans. The entrance to the cella is guarded by great bronze doors, that were once covered in gold, but the gold has long since disappeared.
Purpose of the Pantheon
The Pantheon is classified as a temple, it's original use is unknown. The structure of the temple is so different from other traditional Roman temples, such as the Roman Forum, so it is unknown how the people worshipped in the building. The Panthon was given by the Byzantine emperor Phocas to Pope Boniface the VIII in A.D608, this is why it is such an amazing form today. It has been used as a church since then.
In the Pantheon are burried not only Italian kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Raphael, one of the most famous Renaissance painters, and his fiancee.
Even today are architects still impressed by the simple geometry of the building. During your stay in Rome you can too admire the mathematial genius of ancient Roman scholars.