7 things you need to know about the Pantheon in Rome
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7 things you need to know about the Pantheon in Rome


Rome is a city full of ancient Roman history and is famous for its historical tourist spots to visit and learn about the culture at the same time. The Pantheon is a small but magnificent window into the 2000-year-old history of Rome, and its eternal architectural beauty in today’s time makes it nothing less than a wonder. The meaning of pantheon is all gods, which was an ancient Roman temple of all Greek gods that was turned into a church in 609 AD. With Vox City’s Pantheon audio guide, discover its beauty and the fascinating history of ancient Rome.

Pantheon, a temple formerly


The Pantheon has a history that is still unclear to a lot of people, and for historians, it's still a mystery if the importance of the Pantheon was truly what it was made for: a temple for gods. Rome’s grand site is famous for its history of being decorated with huge statues of Greek gods inside, representing Roman religion. The Pantheon was constructed on the orders of Roman general Marcus Agrippa, making Roman general and consul Marcus Agrippa a building patron, however, it was later discovered that the Pantheon is actually a structure constructed in the ruling time of Roman emperor Hadrian. And the former pantheon by Marcus Agrippa was burned down.


The Pantheon is one of the most celebrated and preserved monuments in Rome. being a burial place for many kings and artists of Rome. 

Latin inscriptions



The Pantheon audio guide might share the notorious history of misleading inscriptions on the Pantheon. Because it was built by Marcus Agrippa, he became consul three times; therefore, the inscription written in concise Latin states, “M.AGRIPPA.L.F.COS.TERTIUM.FECIT.” It translates in English as “Marcus Agrippa, the son of Lucius, three times consul built this”. However, with the history of the Pantheon, the inscription written does not make sense. So in Rome, on the Piazza della Rotonda street, when you see the Pantheon and try to read the Latin written on it, don’t take it seriously; instead, get help from your Vox City’s Pantheon audio guide for more details.


The pantheon’s rough history of destruction back to back gave the impression of gods being unhappy. So the Pantheon today is not actually the Pantheon built by Marcus Agrippa, the three-time consul during the reign of Emporor Augustus.


And when Emperor Hadrian’s reign started, the famous Pantheon of today was redesigned and reconstructed in honor of Emporor Augustus. Historians are skeptical as to why Hadrian would still put Agrippa’s name on the new Pantheon, which has been a matter of confusion for many. To this day, the enigma of the inscription remains folded.

The awe-inspiring entrance is the portico.


Everything in the Pantheon is designed on a resplendent scale, including the portico at its entrance. The Pantheon’s majestic veranda is reinforced with sixteen massive columns of granite that stand 40 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter. These gigantic pillars were reportedly mined and sculpted in the wilderness of ancient Eastern Egypt before being shipped by land and then by sea to reach their actual destination in Campo Marzio.


The measures taken for the entrance of the Pantheon show its importance in ancient Rome and why it's a tourist attraction even today, in the 21st century, as more and more people visit to see its grandiosity.

The Pantheon turned into a church


In the 7th century, in 609 AD, the Pantheon was turned into a Christian church. It seems a davatating act of cultural destruction that such a dignified and celebrated monument of ancient Rome was turned into a church by Pope Bonifcace IV and was known as the Basillica di Santa Maria ad Martryes. While it is still known as the Pantheon and not as the church Basillica di Santa Maria ad Martryes, it shows how much of an impact an ancient landmark and its history have had on people in previous times and in today's era.

Its conversion turned out to be its resume for extraordinary survival until today. While other ancient landmarks were vandalized and plundered over the centuries, Pantheon's status as a Christian church protected it from the devours and greed of the time, making it the most celebrated landmark of Rome.

The Pantheon’s oculus

The oculus, which means eye in Latin, is the Pantheon’s most recognizable feature, as the oculus is right at the center of the dome of the Pantheon. In the Middle Ages, the oculus was quite notorious, as it was perceived as the creation for a fleeing demon. The 72-foot-wide oculus, which lets light stream down to the Pantheon, served other purposes as well, one being working as a sundial for showing the gradual changes in the hours of the day and illumination of the portico of the Pantheon.


The legend had it that the occult spirits who had infested the ancient structure were forced to flee by Pope Bonificace IV by the time the Pantheon was declared a Christian church. This story was documented by the medieval chroniclers and was told in the 7th century, at the time of the Pantheons declaration as a church.

A burial for kings and artists 


The Pantheon is an exposed gem by many and later turned into a church, making it a pretty sacred place for a burial for important individuals in history. Vittorio Emmanuele II, who was appointed as the first Italian monarch, is the most notable of all the personalities resting at the Pantheon. The magnificent monument of the king is matched by that of his successor, Umberto I, who is buried next to his wife, Queen Margarritta. The Pantheon is a resting place for other royalties as well. Here you will witness the tomb of the prince of painters, Raphael, who died untimely at the age of 37. The Pantheon audio guide will inform you about the resting place of Baldasser Peruzzi, whose work of art on Villa Farnesina next to Raphael is an absolute treat to the eye and one of the greatest Renaissance delights in Rome.

The Pantheon and the rose petals


Every May, thousands of rose petals are released from the oculus of the Pantheon, as May marks the Christian feast of Pentecost, making the event one of the most anticipated times of the year on Rome’s cultural calendar. The petals released from the oculas flutter and twirl in the air before landing on the floor of the church. These rose petals represent the descendents of the holy spirits upon Christ’s apostle following his death. Regardless of what an individual's religious beliefs are, witnessing such a glorious event once a year is what "larger than life" experiences mean.

Pantheon audio guide to the rescue

Explore Rome and it’s architectural gems and get to know the landmark you are visiting for a better understanding of the area for full tourist experience. Making the most out of your visit in Rome, fine dinning at the authentic restaurants serving food that hits your tasetbud at the right spot with Vox City's Pantheon audio guide embark a journey like never before. 


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