Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Temple of All the Gods

The Pantheon is John and my favourite building. It was built by Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D., to worship and honour all the gods of Rome. 
Our local grocery was just off the Piazza della Rotonda so we passed the Pantheon from different directions and at different times almost every day.
The historical centre of Rome is full of narrow streets that suddenly open up onto a bright piazza.
You can come upon the Pantheon from half a dozen different streets.
With each sighting the shock of the building's size and shape returns.
Let's go inside!
The height of the dome equals the width of the diameter -- 142 feet.
The lush marble interior has recently been restored.
The original marble interior has survived because when Christianity was adopted by the Romans the building was turned into a church. Monotheism reigned but preserved the pagan temple.
Christian uses have been found for the niches that once held statues of "all the gods", but the Christian altar and seating is unconvincing. It is dwarfed by the size of the interior.
But Raphael's tomb works.
I love the view of the Baroque fountain and obelisk when one leaves the building.
If you only see one ancient monument in Rome make it the Pantheon.

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