Originally constructed in 27-25 B.C., the Pantheon suffered under the misfortune of a fire in 80 A.D. The building remained a destroyed artifact for 38 years before Emperor Hadrian began rebuilding in 118 A.D., completing the project in 125 A.D.
The Pantheon’s consecration as a church in 609 A.D. was initially an unwelcome idea to the Romans. In retrospect, giving the Pantheon to the Catholic Church changed the course of the building’s history significantly for the better. Its belonging to the Catholic Church is the only reason the Pantheon stands today, and not in disrepair. As a church structure, the upkeep of the Pantheon is more extensive than most other ancient buildings in Rome.
Properly maintaining the Pantheon considerably improved its pristine permanency, but the unique approach to building the structure is accredited for its durability. At the time, Roman architects created weak infrastructures unable to hold lasting constructions. Those constructing the Pantheon searched for an alternate method of building to erect a sturdy and resilient monument. This led to the discovery and use of lightweight concrete. The Pantheon’s signature sphere shape and oculus is only possible because of this revolutionary innovation.
When visiting the Pantheon, it is important to know that it is not only a church, but a tomb. It is the resting place of Raphael, Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I as well as other renowned architects and composers.
The Pantheon as very accessible for everyone, including wheelchair users. The interior of the building endures as one large, impressive room and is maintained on one level.
The experience doesn’t end in the Pantheon either. Wander around the surrounding area of Piazza della Rotonda, or a little farther to the elegant neighborhood of Monti. The Trevi Fountain is a short seven minute walk away, too!
Rome’s Pantheon exhibits the best of innovative and durable Roman architecture as one of the best preserved ancient monuments of Rome. With its long-standing history, this building will be around long enough for everyone to see it!