Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of Rome's most famous buildings, located in Piazza della Rotunda, in the heart of the Italian capital. The Pantheon was built as a Roman temple and later it was consecrated as a Catholic Church. It is the biggest covered place without intermediate supports that was built before the invention of reinforced concrete.  



The original Pantheon was built in 27 to 25 B.C., during the third consulship of Marcis Vipsanius Agrippa, however, it was destroyed by fire in 80 A.D. The current building was built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, about 125 A.D. 




During the Byzantine epoch, emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV, who re-consecrated it as a Christian Church, renaming it the "Church of Mary and all the Martyr Saints". The consecration not only spared the Pantheon from the complete dispossession, like all the other antique monuments, but it also guaranteed an uninterrupted use of the building, making it unique in the millenarian history of the city of Rome. 



The pronaos has 16 Corinthian columns made of granite. The nave of the arcade ends with a splendid bronze portal and it is the biggest and most integral of all the ancient portals currently in use in Rome.




 The hall is made up of a circular space with a hemispheric dome with a diameter of 43,30 metres, the same as its height. The dome is the centre piece of this amazing Church, which rests on a cylinder of masonry walls. In the middle of the dome is an oeil-de boeuf. The floor has a draining system for the rainwater that enters through the hole of the dome. 

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