The Pantheon in Rome

The Pantheon in Rome:the most perfect pagan building in the city houses the tombs of renowned painters and of the kings of Italy. In the next article we will discover some details of the Pantheon in Rome, the facts, the pictures, the opening hours and the art history.

The Pantheon in Rome fatcs

The Pantheon is the most perfect pagan building in the city, built B.C. 27 by Marcus Agrippa, the bosom friend of Augustus Caesar, and the second husband of his daughter Julia. The inscription in huge letters, perfectly legible from beneath, “M. agrippa. l. f. cos. tertium fecit,” records its construction. Another inscription on the architrave, now almost illegible, records its restoration under Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla, c. 202, who, ” Pantheum vetustate corruptum cum omni cultu restitverunt.”

The Pantheon in Rome history

Some authorities have maintained that the Pantheon was originally only a vast hall in the baths of Agrippa, acknowledged remains of which exist at no great distance; but the name “Pantheum” was in use as early as a.d. 59. In a.d. 399 the Pantheon was closed as a temple in obedience to a decree of the Emperor Honorius, and in 608 was consecrated as a Christian church by Pope Boniface IV., with the permission of the Emperor Phocas, under the title of Saint Maria ad Martyres. To this dedication we owe the preservation of the main features of the building.

The Pantheon in Rome as a burial place

Some antiquarians have supposed that the aperture at the top of the Pantheon was originally closed by a huge “Pigna,” or pine-cone of bronze, like that which crowned the summit of the mausoleum of Hadrian, and this belief has been encouraged by the name of a neighbouring church being S. Giovanni della Pigna.

The Pantheon has become the burial-place of famous painters. Raphael, Annibale Caracci, Taddeo Zucchero, Baldassare Peruzzi, Pierino del Vaga, and Giovanni da Udine, are all buried here. The third chapel on the left contains the tomb of Raphael (born April 6, 1483 ; died April 6, 1520). From the pen of Cardinal Bembo is the epigram: “Here lies Raphael, living, great nature feared he might outvie Her works and, dying, fears herself to die.”

Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter reminds you of something?) puts these words in the mouths of his characters:

“It is very delightful, on a breezy day, to see the masses of white cloud float over the opening, and then the sunshine fall through it again, fitfully, as it does now. Would it be any wonder if we were to see angels hovering there, partly in and partly out, with genial, heavenly faces, not intercepting the light, but transmuting it into beautiful colors? Look at that broad golden beam a sloping cataract of sunlight which comes down from the aperture, and rests upon the shrine, at the right hand of the entrance.”

The Marble Faun

The Pantheon in Rome: opening hours

Piazza della rotonda
Opening 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

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