Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon in Rome was built by Emperor Hadrian in AD 126 to replace an earlier temple to all the gods (pan is Greek for "all" and theon for "gods"). The exterior portico is rectangular and fools the viewer into expecting a typical long nave inside.


Doors into the Pantheon

Someone lost their Minion balloon!

Inside is a hemispherical dome on a round church. The coffering in the dome was achieved by pouring a mixture of concrete, tufa, and pumice over a wooden frame that was removed after it hardened. The effect is fantastic. The hole at the top is called the oculus and is the main source of interior light. It's 142 feet above the floor, which is also the diameter of the interior.

Interior of the church

The dome

The main altar is against the back wall and not overly ostentatious.

Main altar

Many of the tombs in the Pantheon are of modern Italian kings. The most famous tomb by far, though, is Raphael's tomb. He was buried here at his request.

Victor Emanuele II Tomb, Father of the Fatherland

Umberto I's tomb

Raphael's tomb

Other altars and statues are spread around the circumference of the Pantheon, including a nativity since it was still the Christmas season.

An angel

Madonna and Youth

Some god made way for this evangelist!

Altar to St. Joseph

Simple nativity below the altar of St. Joseph

The Pantheon is now the Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres and still functions as a church, though it is mostly a tourist attraction nowadays.

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