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  • Day5

    The Pantheon

    May 10, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Wow! Another feat of Roman engineering thankfully preserved by its evolution to a Christian Church and mausoleum. Raphael is here along with Emanuele, the first King of Italy (late1800s when the popes handed over government power). It is of remarkable architecture, design and longevity.

    The Pantheon in Rome was built on the orders of Hadrian between 118AD and 125AD, it functioned as a temple to all the Roman Gods. The temple was built to replace Marcus Agrippa's temple which had burnt down in 80AD. The building is in such good condition thanks to renovations made by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas in 608AD when it was converted into a church. The church became the final resting place for several Italian kings including King Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and the artist Raphael who was buried here together with his fiancée.
    The Pantheon façade features a triangular pediment supported by three rows of columns leading into the front portico. From the rectangular front entrance hall bronze doors lead in to the main part of the building which is circular. The marble veneer covering the interior walls was a later addition but the geometric patterned marble floor is the original Ancient Roman floor.

    Within the building intersecting arches rest on piers which support 8 round headed arches. The star feature of the Pantheon is the dome, supported by a series of arches brilliantly engineered to hold the heavy dome. To further help support the weight of the dome the walls beneath the dome gradually decrease in thickness. Also the builders used lightweight materials on the upper part of the structure and heavier, sturdy materials on the lower section.

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