The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, which is now a Catholic church, Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs, located in Rome, Italy. Completed by emperor Hadrian, the date of the temple’s construction is uncertain because the inscription on it belongs to the earlier temple constructed during Augustus’ reign. It is known that the temple stands in the place from the previous construction that was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa between 27 and 14 AD (Fazio et al. 124). The Pantheon has a cylindrical shape with a portico made up of granite Corinthian columns under a pediment. The porch and the rotunda are connected through a rectangle vestibule, with a central opening to the sky. The significance of the building relates to the fact that it was built two thousand years ago, but its dome remains the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. In Roman architecture, the circular domed cella, as well as the conventional temple portico front, were unique to the style, which contributes to the building’s value. When classical styles were revived, the shape and the design of the Pantheon were copied by multiple architects. Furthermore, the Pantheon is one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman structures, and it has been in continuous use throughout its history. It is in state property and is managed by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. Each year, the Pantheon is visited by millions of people from around the globe, thus significantly contributing to the increase in revenue from tourism in the country.
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It is essential to preserve the Roman Pantheon because, in the present state, it allows its visitors to get a glimpse into the stunning Roman architecture. The dome of the building has been gilded to remind of a heavenly sphere of the gods, which are evoked in the name of the building itself. Furthermore, the oculus of the Pantheon is an engineering gem of Roman architecture, with no other oculus coming close to the size of the one in the building. It is still lined with the original bronze installed around two thousand years ago, remaining the primary source of light in the entire building (see Figure 1). Throughout the day, as the Earth turns, the light flows inside the circle change, making the visitors of the Pantheon aware of the impact that the cosmos has on the planet. Moreover, the oculus is fascinating because it should never be covered when it rains, but the raindrops can fall into the interior and run of the slightly convex floor, reaching the drainpipes underneath.
The Pantheon should be preserved because it served as an inspiration to multiple artists throughout the Renaissance as well as become the place of rest for prominent Italian figures, such as painters Annibale Carracci and Raphael, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. The piece of architecture is adorned with valuable paintings, with the most popular being Melozzo da Forli’s Annunciation. The Pantheon is more significant compared with such pieces as Stonehenge or the Acropolis because it combines art and architecture in one place. It serves as a reminder of the long history of humankind and the various stages that it had undergone; therefore, the Pantheon is much more than an architectural piece.
“Dome of the Pantheon, Rome.” Pinterest. Web.
Fazio, Michael, et al. Buildings Across Time: An Introduction to World Architecture. McGraw-Hill, 2012.