The 16 Corinthian pillars were brought directly from Egypt and weigh no less than 60 tons each. They stand at the height of 12 meters and have a 1.5 meter diameter. These columns support the triangular roof of the structure, where an inscription explains how this building was built by Marcus Agrippa.
You will also see the graves of some Italian kings and that of the artist Raffaello Sanzio.
If you want to enhance the experience, come to Pantheon when it is raining. It is special to see the water entering through the holes in the ceiling before trickling down to the center of the building. In case you were wondering what happens to the water here, the floor is slanted in such a way that the water gathers quickly in the drainage holes. Another interesting point is that on April 21, when the sun rays hit the metal plate above the door, the entrance to the temple is quite a spectacular sight.
Opposite the Pantheon stands the impressive Pantheon fountain, built by the architect Giacomo della Forte in 1575 and carved by Leonardo Sormani. Later on, pharaoh's obelisk from Egypt, dolphin carvings and a new base were added.
This dome of the ceiling is the largest in the world without support. Do not take it for granted, as it was a rather challenging architectural feat. Due to the massive weight of the dome, and in order to avoid its collapsing, the Roman engineers tried to make it weight as little as possible as they designed the ceiling to be higher. This was also the reason that the upper parts of the dome are made of lighter materials and have more internal spaces. Due to this interesting construction, the dome looks flatter from the outside than it really is.
Architecturally speaking, the Pantheon is a significant achievement in the ancient world, since the dome is made of concrete, from soil from Pozzolana. It is the largest domed structure in the ancient world and is so strong that it has survived to this day.
The word "Pantheon" means "rule of the gods" in Greek. In various ancient mythologies, such as Sumerian and Greek, this word described a temple. And indeed, the ancient Roman structure that remains intact to this day was originally used as a temple for all the gods - Pantheon.
However the Romans later changed its use to the court of the emperor, a law court, and after Christianity took over, it became a Christian church called Santa Maria Rotunda. It must be admitted that this is an interesting use of a structure originally intended for idol worship and contained a number of altars dedicated to the many gods of the ancient world.
The date of the inauguration of the Pantheon as a gift to the Pope, by Emperor Phocas, is celebrated to this day by the Christian world as "Halloween Night." Among those buried in the floor of the Pantheon is the painter Raphael and the kings of Italy.
The Pantheon is one of the most popular sites in Rome. Still, it is not very crowded here. If you want to see it in a pleasant way, it is best to arrive after 4:00 pm.