The Pantheon

Interior of the Pantheon by Giovanni Paolo Panini , c.1734

The Pantheon (“to all gods”) was originally built in the aftermath of the Battle of Actium, and dedicated in 27B.C.E. It was destroyed twice by fires, and rebuilt each time. This version, finished during the rule of the Emperor Hadrian, was probably designed during the rule of Trajan.

It was consecrated as a Christian church in 609, and Catholic services are still held there. Artists and kings have been interred at the site since the Renaissance.

The dome of the building remains the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. An opening at the apex of the dome, the oculus, is the only source of natural light for the interior.

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