The stunning design, proportions, grace, and harmony are a startling reminder of the old Roman Empire's architecture, and this masterpiece continues to astound residents and visitors alike with its beauty and splendor even now.
Although originally built as a temple to the ancient Greek gods, it was also used by the Romans as a temple to their own god, Jupiter. Over time, the building became more dedicated to Christianity where it remains today.
The construction of the Pantheon began in 126 AD under Emperor Hadrian and is estimated to have taken about 20 years to complete. It was modeled after the original Temple of Apollo in Athens but included additional features such as a large oculus (window) at the top of the building. The interior of the building was also redesigned and expanded by other members of the imperial family. The last major update to the interior of the building was done in 1598 during the Papacy of Clement VIII.
The dome of the Pantheon has become one of Rome's most recognizable landmarks and helps give weight to claims that the city is "the capital of Europe." The structure also served as a model for later famous buildings such as Buckingham Palace and St. Peter's Basilica.
It was one of the most spectacular structures in the ancient Roman Empire, with exquisitely carved interiors and equally stunning architectural decorations on the outside. The library's construction is generally evocative of the building style common during Emperor Hadrian's reign. It was here that the idea for the Ager Romanus (Roman Field) was conceived; this vast artificial lake, which occupied an area of more than 2 hectares, was actually built as a public waterway to help control flooding on the River Tiber near the city center. However, its real purpose was for gladiatorial contests, which took place every afternoon at sunset, being watched by Emperor Claudius and his guests.
The library was also used for meetings of the Senate, who would debate important issues before voting on them. Additionally, it was here that slaves learned about their masters' will through written examinations called "concilia". Finally, the library was the venue where books were copied by monks who worked in the Vatican Library today.
Construction on the library began in 141 AD and was completed in 135. It was designed by Apollodorus of Damascus and consisted of an enclosed court with reading rooms attached to it on three sides. Each room was named after a famous author: Epicurus, Aristotle, and Plato had libraries of their own, while Cicero's collection was so large that two additional rooms were needed to store it.
Its significance stems from the fact that it is the best surviving ancient Roman monument. Many people have praised the Pantheon's remarkable mix of Greek and Roman forms throughout its history. In fact, the Pantheon has inspired several reproductions throughout Europe. The design and structure of the original are almost identical to those of the famous temple in Athens.
The building was originally constructed in 27 B.C. as a temple to all gods but was later converted into a temple to one god: Apollo. It remained active as such for nearly 500 years, until A.D. 572, when it was finally abandoned. Fire destroyed most of the interior parts of the temple but it was rebuilt within a few years. However, the current shape of the dome was not added until A.D. 117. The temple continued to be used and inhabited by priests until A.D. 608, after which it was left empty until it was converted into a church about 10 years later. This makes the Pantheon an ancient architectural hybrid that combines features from both Greece and Rome.
Its location next to the Roman Senate also made the Pantheon important in art history because many artists were invited by members of the Senate to decorate their rooms. Some of the most famous painters of our time have painted scenes from mythology for some of these rooms.
Rome's Pantheon is a real architectural marvel. Known as the "sphinx of the Campus Martius" because to the enigmas given by its look and history, as well as the location in Rome where it was erected, seeing it now is almost like being transported back to the Roman Empire itself. The building is composed of a large, perfect sphere with an internal diameter of 30 feet (9.5 m), surrounded by 12 smaller spheres that ring the main one. This arrangement produces 8 additional smaller spheres that serve as niches for the preservation of the objects buried beneath them.
The Pantheon was originally built around 120 A.D. by Hadrian I as a temple to all gods (hence the name). It remained intact for over 700 years before it was destroyed by fire in 152 A.D. During this time, it became a church, then a mosque, and later a palace. In 1590, after many modifications, it was reconverted into a church once more. The current structure you see today was designed by Giacomo della Porta e Luiselli and was completed in 1632.
Modern-day scholars believe the Pantheon was probably built on top of several ancient temples to different deities. Some think it might even be the site where Romulus killed his brother Remus! In any case, it's known that the original structure was nearly identical to Stonehenge, which was built about 7,000 miles away in England.
The Pantheon still exists as a tribute to the Roman people's ingenuity and talent. The building itself was originally constructed in 125 A.D. by Emperor Hadrian as a temple to all the gods. It remained active as a place of worship until 590 A.D., when King Theodoric converted it into a church. During the Renaissance, artists and scholars were interested in preserving examples of classical architecture, so many copies were made of the exterior and some interior rooms. In 1586, Pope Gregory XIII converted the building back into a church but it wasn't until 1760 that it became an official cathedral for the city of Rome.
Some people may not know that the Vatican Museum has also been called the "National Gallery of Rome" because there are many famous paintings that come from other countries too. One example is La Joconde ("the joker"), a portrait that was painted in France but now lives in the Louvre in Paris. There are also many other French paintings at the museum.
In addition to being a museum, the Vatican City also has an international airport, a university, and a central bank. All together, these things make up what we call government today.