The Pantheon in Rome is one of the most famous and well-preserved ancient buildings in the world.
Originally built by Marcus Agrippa in 25BC, the Pantheon served as a temple to the many gods of Rome. The original Pantheon was destroyed by the great fire of 80AD and the structure which stands today was completed around 125AD during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian.
In 609AD the Pantheon was converted to a Church and this helped preserve the building from the destruction of later times. In the middle ages the Pantheon was also used as a burial chamber for notable figures and even Italian kings.
Today, the Pantheon stands as a magnificent site in central Rome, and one of the most popular destinations for tourists. The Pantheon’s vast structure is topped by the spectacular original domed roof which contains a circular opening (oculus) at the peak. Made of cast concrete, it is a monumental engineering feat that is a testament to the technical expertise of the Roman Empire. Indeed, the roof of the Pantheon remained the largest dome in the world until the 15th century.
The Pantheon is free to visit and is a must-see for both the general tourist and the history enthusiast.