On the first niche to the left of the entrance is an Assumption (1638) by Andrea Camassei.  The materials used in the concrete of the dome also vary. Because of this, the interior floor is equipped with drains and has been built with an incline of about 30 centimetres (12 in) to promote water runoff.. Plan of the building. Upon passing through the doors at the back of the portico one enters the single inner room or cella of the temple, a circular hall covered by a vast hemispherical dome. The oculus at the top of the dome was never covered, allowing rainfall through the ceiling and onto the floor. This engineering tour de force has exerted an enormous influence on the history of Western architecture as it seems to have been deliberately designed to surprise the visitor, due to its interior that vastly surpasses the exterior in splendour. Each zone of the interior, from floor to ceiling, is subdivided according to a different scheme. It was secularized during the French Revolution and dedicated to the memory of great Frenchmen, receiving the name Panthéon. Following Hadrians usual practice of dedicating rebuilt buildings and monuments in honour of the original dedicator, the Pantheon is dedicated to Marcus Agrippa and the prominent inscription on the porch façade reads: Instead, after the intended columns failed to arrive, the builders made many awkward adjustments in order to use shafts 40 Roman feet tall and capitals eight Roman feet tall. The definition of a pantheon is a temple dedicated to all the Gods, or the name of a group of Gods, or a building that is dedicated to the heroes and heroines of a nation. There is exactly the same distance from the floor to the middle of the oculus at the top of the dome. The epigraph was written by Pietro Bembo. After 30 meters you will come out in Piazza della Rotonda with the Pantheon in front of you on the other side of the square. The first chapel on the left, is the Chapel of St Joseph in the Holy Land, and is the chapel of the Confraternity of the Virtuosi at the Pantheon. On the right side is the low relief Cardinal Consalvi presents to Pope Pius VII the five provinces restored to the Holy See (1824) made by the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.  The oculus at the dome's apex and the entry door are the only natural sources of light in the interior. Inside the large squares are circles which form diagonal rows in a subtle contrast to the major north-south axis of the building. Later construction raised the level of the ground leading to the portico, eliminating these steps.  In fact, Livy wrote that it had been decreed that temple buildings (or perhaps temple cellae) should only be dedicated to single divinities, so that it would be clear who would be offended if, for example, the building were struck by lightning, and because it was only appropriate to offer sacrifice to a specific deity (27.25.7–10). It is also said that the bronze was used by Bernini in creating his famous baldachin above the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica, but, according to at least one expert, the Pope's accounts state that about 90% of the bronze was used for the cannon, and that the bronze for the baldachin came from Venice.  These were dragged more than 100 km (62 miles) from the quarry to the river on wooden sledges. On the right wall is the Incredulity of St Thomas (1633) by Pietro Paolo Bonzi. , Circles and squares form the unifying theme of the interior design. There, they were transferred back onto barges and pulled up the Tiber River to Rome. The second niche has a statue of St Agnes, by Vincenzo Felici. In the third chapel is a 15th-century painting of the Umbrian school, The Madonna of Mercy between St Francis and St John the Baptist. Some scholars, however, think that it was dedicated not to all the gods in the Roman pantheon, but to all the planet gods. The wooden crucifix on the altar is from the 15th century. It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, but now functions primarily as a burial place for famous French heroes. From him we know that "the capitals, too, of the pillars, which were placed by M. Agrippa in the Pantheon, are made of Syracusan bronze", that "the Pantheon of Agrippa has been decorated by Diogenes of Athens, and the Caryatides, by him, which form the columns of that temple, are looked upon as masterpieces of excellence: the same, too, with the statues that are placed upon the roof," and that one of Cleopatra's pearls was cut in half so that each half "might serve as pendants for the ears of Venus, in the Pantheon at Rome". Dio appears to be the only near-contemporaneous writer to mention the Pantheon. Pope Urban VIII (1623 to 1644) ordered the bronze ceiling of the Pantheon's portico melted down. In addition if we visualize a square fitting exactly into the cylinder of the rotunda, with an identical square standing immediately next to it towards the north, this second square would extend to the corner columns of the portico (with its sides exactly corresponding to the centres of the outer columns) and its height would be the same as that of the transitional block (as well as of the top of the pediment as originally planned). Pantheon means "all gods," and though it's commonly thought the structure was a site of worship dedicated to Roman deities, its original purpose is … Each was 11.9 metres tall, 1.5 metres in diameter, and 60 tonnes in weight. A projecting portico or porch, faced by a façade consisting of 8 columns at the front and two at the sides. Adytons (shrines recessed into the wall) and coffers (sunken panels) cleverly reduce the weight of the dome, as did a lightweight cement made of pumice used in the upper levels. During storms, a drainage system below the floor handles the rain that falls through the oculus. Statues of gods were placed all around the central hall inside niches. Oculus of the Pantheon. 1. , The Augustan Pantheon was destroyed along with other buildings in a huge fire in the year 80 AD. This idea is supported by the recent discovery of an ancient set of full scale plans and templates for the portico of the Pantheon cut into the limestone paving next to the Mausoleum of Augustus, only 600 meters to the north. From the floor up to the first cornice: layers of cement packed with travertine and volcanic tuff fragments.  These dimensions make more sense when expressed in ancient Roman units of measurement: The dome spans 150 Roman feet; the oculus is 30 Roman feet in diameter; the doorway is 40 Roman feet high. The altar with the royal arms is by Cirilli. Throughout the day, the light from the oculus moves around this space in a reverse sundial effect. A competition was held to decide which architect should design it. The Pantheon at Rome is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome..  Godfrey and Hemsoll maintain that the word Pantheon "need not denote a particular group of gods, or, indeed, even all the gods, since it could well have had other meanings. The bust of Raphael (1833) is by Giuseppe Fabris. Mark Wilson Jones has attempted to explain the design adjustments carried out in relating the porch to the dome, arguing that the Pantheon's porch was originally designed for monolithic granite columns with shafts 50 Roman feet tall (weighing about 100 tonnes) and capitals 10 Roman feet tall in the Corinthian style.  In fact, the concept of a pantheon dedicated to all the gods is questionable. It was dedicated to 12 gods of heaven and focused on Augustus’ cult and Romans believed that Romulus ascended to heaven from this spot. The frieze has allegorical representations of Generosity, by Eugenio Maccagnani, and Munificence, by Arnaldo Zocchi. Even by the year 200, there was uncertainty about the origin of the building and its purpose: Agrippa finished the construction of the building called the Pantheon. Weddings are also held there from time to time. The main building (known as the “rotonda”) with a circular ground plan and a thick windowless wall in which there are 7 large niches at ground level (8 if one includes the entrance).  Concerning this, an anonymous contemporary Roman satirist quipped in a pasquinade (a publicly posted poem) that quod non fecerunt barbari fecerunt Barberini ("What the barbarians did not do the Barberinis [Urban VIII's family name] did"). Most of the bronze was used to make bombards for the fortification of Castel Sant'Angelo, with the remaining amount used by the Apostolic Camera for various other works. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the year 476, the old Roman religion died off. This description was widely accepted until the late 20th century.  The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. This complex contrast and sophisticated discordance between the interior decorative zones was not fully appreciated or understood in later centuries, and in fact the attic level was radically modified in 1753, being replaced by a monotonous scheme in Neoclassical style, with simple square panels framed by ornamental mouldings alternating with window-like recesses topped by pediments. The Pantheon as we know it today was built in 120 AD by Empero… For some reason (possibly a shipwreck) these columns failed to arrive, and the builders had to use the smaller columns that still exist today. The extraordinarily precise details and elegant finishing of the ancient Roman workmanship can thus still be admired in the Pantheon.  The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda. The dome features sunken panels (coffers), in five rings of 28. The Pantheon, in greek, is the place where all the gods meet. We are two friends who play, love and are passionate about Hockey. Manfredo Manfredi won the competition, and started work in 1885. The two plaques commemorate Maria Bibbiena and Annibale Carracci. The niche opposite the doorway is the most impressive, as it is the only one that extends above the level of the first internal cornice (like the arch above the doorway). In the second chapel is the tomb of King Victor Emmanuel II (died 1878).  The taller porch would have hidden the second pediment visible on the intermediate block.  In antiquity, the coffers may have contained bronze rosettes symbolising the starry firmament. A pantheon was a temple dedicated to all deities. It is also substantially larger than earlier domes. On the altar is a statue of St Joseph and the Holy Child by Vincenzo de' Rossi. The Pantheon is full of such devices – for example, there are relieving arches over the recesses inside – but all these arches were hidden by marble facing on the interior and possibly by stone revetment or stucco on the exterior. After many renovations and updates, it is now a place where people can go to worship. This evenly spaced layout was difficult to achieve and, it is presumed, had symbolic meaning, either numerical, geometric, or lunar. A temple built to honor Zeus is an … The 4,535-tonne weight of the Roman concrete dome is concentrated on a ring of voussoirs 9.1 metres (30 ft) in diameter that form the oculus, while the downward thrust of the dome is carried by eight barrel vaults in the 6.4-metre-thick (21 ft) drum wall into eight piers. , Godfrey and Hemsoll point out that ancient authors never refer to Hadrian's Pantheon with the word aedes, as they do with other temples, and the Severan inscription carved on the architrave uses simply "Pantheum". The present high altars and the apses were commissioned by Pope Clement XI (1700–1721) and designed by Alessandro Specchi. At its thickest point, the aggregate is travertine, then terracotta tiles, then at the very top, tufa and pumice, both porous light stones. This wall is surmounted by a hemispherical dome with a large central hole (the “oculus”).  Thus, it was necessary to either drag them or to move them on rollers to the construction site. 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