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Does it rain in the Pantheon Rome?

Visit Pantheon

A guided tour in the the temple of all Gods in Rome 

visit pantheon rome italy guided walking cultural tours agency
Pantheon in Rome

Discover with us the temple of all Gods in Rome, this itinerary leads us to the discovery the oldest temples in the world still in use today but as a church: the Pantheon

It is located in the heart of ancient Rome, between Via del Corso and the picturesque Piazza Navona.

visit pantheon rome italy guided walking cultural tours agency
The dome of the Pantheon in the center of Rome

visit pantheon rome italy guided walking cultural tours agency
Piazza della Rotonda in Rome

It has survived virtually intact to almost 2000 years of history, a sign that it was built perfectly. In the history of architecture it was a revolutionary monument.

The temple was dedicated to all Gods, this means 'pantheon', for this reason it is round. The statues of the deities were placed in alternately semicircular and rectangular niches.

The interior decorations, the marbles, the columns, have not changed. All we see in our visit is exactly what a Roman saw nineteen centuries ago.

The monument was rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian to replace an older temple built in 27 BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus, as the ancient inscription on the pediment recalls.

The works lasted 7 years (from 118 to 125 AD). Today the tympanum (the triangular space above the entrance columns) is empty but at the time of the ancient Romans there was a high bronze relief with representation of the battle between the Giants and the Amazons.

Pantheon tympanum and inscription commemorating Agrippa Rome
Pantheon tympanum and inscription commemorating Agrippa

The ceiling of the pronaos was built also with the use of the bronze but the metal was removed by Pope Urban VIII in 1632. 

The pontiff belonged to the Barberini family and there is a famous saying in Italy that says that "what the Barbarians did not do in Rome was done by the Barberini".

The bronze was not lost but was cast and used by Gian Lorenzo Bernini to make the canopy with spiral columns - 20 meters high - in the center of the Basilica of San Pietro.

Columns of the Pronaos at the Pantheon
Columns of the Pronaos at the Pantheon

Entering the Pantheon means being surrounded by 16 huge monolithic columns of grey granite and pink granite of Aswan (a locality of Egypt).

The actual access takes place through a bronze door 7 meters high.

Beyond this door we are inside a marvel of ancient architecture: an immense empty environment in which you have the feeling of being really very small. So it had to be felt even in the past before the gods.

visit pantheon rome italy guided walking cultural tours agency
The entrance of the Pantheon

The floor is original and is made with precious marbles that came from every part of the empire: it is the same floor on which walked the emperor Hadrian and many other emperors after him.

The dome is a great engineering masterpiece: still today it is the largest masonry dome in the world.

visit pantheon rome italy guided walking cultural tours agency
Oculus of the Pantheon

Does it rain in the Pantheon Rome?

At the center of the dome opens an oculus, a hole of 9 meters in diameter that allows sunlight to illuminate the interior and to appreciate the immensity of the place.

But this means that when it rains, rain also enters.

The marble floor was for this reason built with a slight concavity to convey the rain in 22 holes that are hidden among the inlays of polychrome marble.

A curiosity: the diameter of the dome of over 43 meters corresponds exactly to the total height of the Pantheon.

The structure of the Pantheon makes it one of the greatest masterpieces of architecture of all time. 

The dome is a single block, made with a pouring of successive layers of concrete on a wooden formwork.

But the Romans did not use simple concrete (the dome would be so heavy as to collapse).

So in the lower part they mixed to the cement some pieces of travertine, then going up in height, they used materials always lighter (pieces of terracotta and pumice that is very light). As you climb the dome becomes lighter and thinner.

The decoration of the dome, consisting of 5 rows of 'lacunari' or concentric coffers, was also intended to lighten the structure. It was made like an igloo, where one layer stood on the other.

The technique fascinated the same Brunelleschi who came here to study it before building the dome of the Cathedral of Florence.

visit pantheon rome italy guided walking cultural tours agency
Coffering on the ceiling of the dome of the Pantheon

Its weight is impressive: more than 5000 tons supported by a sturdy cylindrical masonry about 6 meters thick.

Outside you can see the arches in the masonry that are used to discharge the enormous weight of the roof.

visit pantheon rome italy guided walking cultural tours agency
View of the Pantheon from Minerva square in Rome

The Pantheon was not destroyed as happened to most pagan temples because it was transformed into a church in 609 by Pope Boniface IV.

Today the Pantheon is the Basilica of Santa Maria ad Martyres.

In 1870 it became a shrine of the Kings of Italy hosting the tombs of King Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia.

The great Renaissance artist Raffaello Sanzio is also buried in the Pantheon.

What's about the opening time of the Pantheon in Rome? 
Generally the monument is open every day from 9am to 7pm (last entry at  6.30pm).

How we can help you? 

👉🏽 Our guided tours give you the opportunity to live the tourist experience without hassle to save time and optimize your journey.

👉🏽 Please feel free to contact us at, we will be happy to help you in case you desire to take part in our customized guided tours in Rome or are looking for inspiration to plan your next travel experiences to Italy.

We will continue to talk about these places in the next Roman itineraries. 

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