The Roman Pantheon


Pan means “all”, and theos means “gods”. The breakdown of the name thus makes it clear that the Pantheon served as a temple for the Greek gods. Whether the Pantheon was indeed used for this purpose, we will never know.


The Pantheon also contains the remains of Raphael, as the temple was such an inspiration to him, that he requested to be laid to rest there when the time came.


Hadrian, the architect who built the Pantheon, was born in 76 AD, in Italy. he became interested in architecture and art – two topics that continued to fascinate him throughout his life.


It is speculated the location of the Pantheon in Rome was not by chance. An ancient Roman legend suggests that the location was the exact place where Romulus, the founder of Rome, died.

how it was built

The walls of the Pantheon were made from Roman concrete. The Pantheon is so significant because it is a mixture of two entirely different architectural styles: Ancient Roman architecture and Greek architecture.

the portico

The covered entrance to the Pantheon consists of 16 classic Greek pillars. These pillars are massive in scale and made from Egyptian granite.

the rotunda

The main structure of the building, which holds everything together, is referred to as the rotunda, which is Italian for “round”. The rotunda was the first element of the Pantheon to be built while making use of the Roman concrete system.

the dome

The diameter of the Pantheon is 143 feet wide and the height from the floor to the top is also 143 feet high, which makes the interior a perfect sphere with outstanding proportions.

the oculus

Looking closely at the oculus, it is evident that there is a bronze molding around it, which happens to be the only surviving element from the original Pantheon roof that was gilded in bronze.

influence of the pantheon

A significant historic building that is so well preserved, and open for all to study, makes it a perfect source of inspiration for many creatives.

the pantheon in art

A famous work is Interior of the Pantheon, Rome (1747) by Giovanni Paolo Panini. He painted the interior and made sure to fill the painting with numerous foreign visitors.