Pantheon


The Pantheon <<PAN thee on>> is a well-preserved ancient temple in the center of Rome. It was completed under the rule of the Roman emperor Hadrian about A.D. 126. Hadrian dedicated the temple to all the Roman gods. Its name comes from the Greek word pantheion, which means place for all gods. The temple served as a Christian church from 609 until 1885. It then became a national shrine and the burial place for Italian national heroes.

The Pantheon was constructed largely of brick and concrete. It is a circular building that measures about 142 feet (43 meters) across. It has a dome roof that rises about 142 feet (43 meters) at its highest point. A rectangular portico (porch) extends from the entrance of the building. The inside of the Pantheon is beautifully and evenly lit by an oculus (opening) that measures 30 feet (9 meters) across at the top of the dome.

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