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Roman Pantheon Map

The Pantheon (an adjective meaning "to every god") is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD. The nearly-contemporary writer (2nd-3rd centuries AD), Cassius Dio, speculated that the name comes either from the statues of so many gods placed around this building, or else from the resemblance of the dome to the heavens.Since the French Revolution, when the church of Sainte-Genevieve, Paris, was deconsecrated and turned into a secular monument, the Panth¨¦on of Paris, the generic term pantheon has sometimes been applied to other buildings in which illustrious dead are honored or buried.

Roman Pantheon

The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft). It is one of the best preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda"; the square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.

The present high altars and the apses were commissioned by Pope Clement XI (1700-1721) and designed by Alessandro Specchi. In the apse, a copy of a Byzantine icon of the Madonna is enshrined. The original, now in the Chapel of the Canons in the Vatican, has been dated to the 13th century, although tradition claims that it is much older. The choir was added in 1840, and was designed by Luigi Poletti.

The first niche to the right of the entrance holds a Madonna of the Girdle and St Nicholas of Bari (1686) painted by an unknown artist. The first chapel on the right, the Chapel of the Annunciation, has a fresco of the Annunciation attributed to Melozzo da Forli. On the left side is a canvas by Clement Maioli of St Lawrence and St Agnes (1645-1650). On the right wall is the Incredulity of St Thomas (1633) by Pietro Paolo Bonzi.

Tip:The Pegman can be dragged to the map for Street View

The second niche has a 15th-century fresco of the Tuscan school, depicting the Coronation of the Virgin. In the second chapel is the tomb of King Victor Emmanuel II (died 1878). It was originally dedicated to the Holy Spirit. A competition was held to decide which architect should design it. Giuseppe Sacconi participated, but lost-he would later design the tomb of Umberto I in the opposite chapel. Manfredio Manfredi won the competition, and started work in 1885. The tomb consists of a large bronze plaque surmounted by a Roman eagle and the arms of the house of Savoy. The golden lamp above the tomb burns in honor of Victor Emmanuel III, who died in exile in 1947.

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