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PANTHEON

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple and since the year 609 a Catholic church (Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres or Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs), in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). It was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated c. 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa's older temple, which had burned down.


It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history and, since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been in use as a church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" (Latin: Sancta Maria ad Martyres) but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda".


The building is cylindrical with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. 


- Wikipedia

Image by Mesut Kaya

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