Pantheon at Piazza della Rotonda, Rome

"Pantheon at Piazza della Rotonda, Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 11th May 2011

Pantheon at Piazza della Rotonda, Rome

It is the most impressive and best preserved monument of ancient Rome. It survived in course of centuries thanks to transformation from a pagan temple to the Christian church (the first case in the history). The Pantheon is without any doubt one of the best preserved ancient monuments in Rome. It is a wonderful example of the reutilization from a Christian perspective of a sacred building consecrated to all Gods. It stands in the heart of the ancient Campus Martius, in one of the lowest parts of Rome, and its imposing facade dominates the southern side of Piazza della Rotonda. Pantheon was erected in 27-25 b.C. by son-in-law of Augustus, Agrippa, as a usual rectangular temple, and was dedicated to all gods (greek name "Pantheon"). The entrance was from the opposite site, and its dimensions were medium. It was damaged by fire in 80 A.D., restored by Domitian, and struck by lightning and destroyed by another fire in 110.
Pantheon front view Pantheon side view

In 118-125 A.D. emperor Hadrian had it completely reconstructed and changed orientation to have a possibility to enlarge it. He also placed an inscription visible till now on the pediment of the pronaos "M.AGRIPPA L. COS. TERTIUM FECIT" (Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, consul for the third time, made it). The cylindrical part with the dome was created, and the original temple served as a pronaos; the access to it was raised by several steps and preceded by a large rectangular paved forecourt limited by porticoes, much lower and bigger than the present Piazza della Rotonda.

The pronaos (portico) is nearly 34m wide and 15.5m deep, with 16 monolithic granite Corinthian columns, each 12.5m high and 4.5m in circumference.
Pantheon column inside - dome of the temple
The dome of the temple is 43.3m in diameter and is the largest masonry vault ever built (St Peter's cupolone's inner diameter is 42.56m). Its diameter and the height of the interior are the same. It has five rows of coffers, probably ornamented with gilded bronze rosettes, and diminishing in size towards the circular opening in the center of the dome, which is almost 9m across. The light entering the temple through this opening is the greatest impression given to a visitor by the whole of the construction. The pavement retains its original design.

The new Pantheon was restored by Septimius Severus and Caracalla; closed and abandoned under the first Christian emperors and pillaged by the Goths. Finally it was presented by the Byzantine emperor Phocas to pope St Boniface IV, who consecrated it as a Christian church in 609. It was dedicated to Santa Maria ad Martyres, and on this occasion 28 wagonloads of martyrs' bones from catacombs were transferred here. Thus, the temple of all gods, became a temple of all martyrs.

In 663, during one of the visits to Rome, Eastern emperor Constans II robbed the temple and stripped off the gilded bronze roof-tiles. It was reconstructed by popes and centuries later became one of the most venerated and preserved monuments in Rome. Nevertheless in the 17th century Urban VIII ordered to melt down the bronze ceiling of the portico to make the baldacchino at St Peter's and 80 cannon for Castel Sant'Angelo in course of military reinforcement required by so called "War of Castro". The same pope ordered G.L.Bernini to erect two little bell-towers on the sides of Pantheon, and soon they received a popular name the "ass-ears", destroyed only in 1883.

As in any Christian church, there is a number of chapels inside:

Pantheon chapels inside Tomb of Raphael
The Tomb of Raphael (pictured above right) is between two chapels, and has a statue of Madonna del Sasso, by Lorenzetto, on the altar, executed from Raphael's original design, and the bronze bust, by De Fabris.

After Raphael was buried here in 1520, Pantheon became a place of cult for many other artists and architects, who had chosen it as the place of their tombs (G.da Udine, T.Zuccari, A.Carracci, P.del Vaga, B.Peruzzi). Too many honorary busts were placed inside of the church, so Pius VII was forced to remove them to Capitoline museum, giving birth to famous collection of celebrated personalities.

Fondazione Roma Museo/ The Museo del Corso/ Fondazione Pantheon at Piazza della Rotonda
Piazza della Rotonda, Via dei Pastini
Near Piazza Montecitorio and Palazzo Giustiniani (Palazzo Madama, Italian Parliament/Senato Della Repubblica)
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Pigna (Torre Argentina) (Roma centro)
Pantheon at Piazza della Rotonda is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "44"
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm, Sunday: 9.00 am - 6.00 pm, Midweek Holidays: 9.00 am - 1.00 pm, Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25
Visits are not allowed during Masses (Holidays: 10.30 am; Saturday: 5.00 pm)
Telephone: 0039 06 68300230.

You can reach Piazza della Rotonda By the following Bus Station:
(Know before you go: Rome Bus stops, Bus Lines, Signs, Color, etc.)
Bus: 116 - 116T

Closest Underground Metro stations near Piazza della Rotonda: (Get an idea of : Rome Underground METRO Lines System and Trains)
METRO A BARBERINI, Barberini (piazza), 10, 430 mt.
METRO A SPAGNA, Della Trinita' Dei Monti (piazza), 3, 568 mt.
METRO B COLOSSEO, Del Colosseo (piazza), 1, 682 mt.
METRO B CAVOUR, Visconti Venosta (largo), 228, 689 mt.
METRO A LEPANTO, Lepanto (via), 1, 750 mt.
METRO A FLAMINIO, Piazzale Flaminio (Piazzale), 753 mt.
METRO A OTTAVIANO, Barletta (via), 1, 831 mt.

Closest Railway stations near Piazza della Rotonda:
STAZIONE FLAMINIO, Di Villa Ruffo (via), 1, 814 mt.
STAZIONE TERMINI, Dei Cinquecento (piazza), 1, 850 mt.
STAZIONE TRASTEVERE, Flavio Biondo (piazza), 1, 963 mt.
ROMALIDO PORTA SAN PAOLO, piazzale ostiense, 1, 968 mt.
STAZIONE SAN PIETRO, Della Stazione Di San Pietro (piazza), 1 1.0 km
ROMAVITERBO EUCLIDE, Filippo Civinini (via), 1.1 km
ROMAPANTANO TERMINI LAZIALI, Giovanni Giolitti (via), 64, 1.1 km
STAZIONE OSTIENSE, Dei Partigiani (piazzale), 36, 1.1 km
FR3 QUATTRO VENTI, Viale dei Quattro Venti, 1.1 km

Closest Tourist Information Points near Piazza della Rotonda:
Navona, Piazza delle Cinque Lune, 149 mt.
Fontana di Trevi, Via Minghetti, 182 mt.
Castel Sant'Angelo, Piazza Pia, 499 mt.
Trastevere, Piazza Sonnino, 500 mt.
Visitor Center Fori Imperiali, Via dei Fori Imperiali, 558 mt.
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Nazionale 194, 591 mt.

Getting To Pantheon (Piazza della Rotonda) From Church/Chiesa dei SS.Ambrogio e Carlo (San Carlo al Corso), Via del Corso:
Departure from roma via del corso , 1
walk 100 meters
go to stop CORSO/POPOLO
take Line No 117 (P.ZA S. GIOVANNI IN LATERANO (H)) to 4 stops o 119 (CORSO/POPOLO)117 ogni 6 min. 119 ogni 12 min.
get off at stop CORSO/MINGHETTI [Time]
walk 400 meters
to roma piazza della rotonda , 1.

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