Pantheon – the most important information
The Pantheon is a Catholic church in Rome. It used to be a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome and its name means temple of all the gods. The Pantheon is one of the symbols of Rome, and as such it attracts a lot of tourists.
History of the Pantheon
The Pantheon was a part of the complex created by Marcus Agrippa on his own property after the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. That complex was built between 29 and 19 BC and it included the Baths of Agrippa, the Basilica of Neptune, and the Pantheon. The building was completely rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian between 118 and 128 AD. The emperors Septimius Severus and Caracalla made some alterations to the Pantheon in the early 3rd century.
The temple was converted into a Christian church by Pope Boniface IV in 609, after it was given to him by the Byzantine emperor Phocas. The church was consecrated to St. Mary and the Martyrs. The medieval bronze campanile was replaced with the famous twin towers in the early 17th century by Urban VIII Barberini, which were later removed in the late 19th century. The bronze ceiling of the Pantheon’s portico was melted down by the order of Pope Urban VIII, and it was restored in 1747, but bore little resemblance to the original. Today, the Pantheon is in use as a Catholic church and masses are celebrated there on Sundays and holy days of obligation.
What to see in the Pantheon?
Some of the details you should pay attention to when visiting the Pantheon are:
- Porch of the Pantheon – there is an inscription on the front of the building that reads: M AGRIPPA L. F. COS TERTIUM FECIT or Marcus Agrippa, Son of Lucius, Thrice Consul, Made This. There are also the statues of Caesar Augustus and Marcus Agrippa on the front porch in the two alcoves, and statues of Venus and Mars.
- The Dome & Oculus – the dome is the first thing that draws the attention inside the Pantheon. It is a perfect hemisphere and it has an oculus that is completely open.
- Raphael’s Tomb – the artist’s tomb is located in the back left-hand side of the Pantheon under a statue of Mary holding baby Jesus to her left. The tomb reads Living, great nature feared he might outlive Her works; and, dying, fears herself may die.
- The Tomb of Vittorio Emanuele – the tomb of the Sardinian King who unified all of the subkingdoms of Italy is buried together with Umberto I, the second and last King of Italy. It reads Father of the Fatherland.
- Fontana del Pantheon – this 16th century fountain is located outside the Pantheon. It was designed by Giacomo della Porta, and it was modified in the 18th century.
Tickets and opening hours of the Pantheon
- Tickets – the price of the guided tour of the Pantheon is 20 Euros. However, if you don’t want a guided tour, there is no entrance fee.
- Opening hours – the Basilica is open all days from 9 am to 7 pm, with the last entry at 6:30 pm. This may vary in accordance with special religious celebrations.
How to get to the Pantheon?
The Pantheon is located on the Piazza della Rotonda, and you can get to it by:
- Metro – Line A, Barberini station.
- Bus – lines 492, 51, 117.
- Hop-on-hop-off buses – the Trevi Fountain stop.
What should you know before visiting the Pantheon?
- The Pantheon is a church so you are required to wear modest attire – no bare shoulders, no short shorts or mini-skirts.
- Check if there are any religious celebrations and events on the day of your visit.
- You don’t have to worry about crowds since there are almost no lines at the Pantheon. The biggest crowds are from late morning to mid-afternoon.
- The Pantheon’s dome measures about 43 meters in diameter and 22 meters in height above its base.
- Several important burials happened at the Pantheon, including the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Correlli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi.
- Kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I with his wife Margherita were buried in the Pantheon.