Cisterna delle Sette Sale Rome

In the Colle Oppio park near the Colosseum in Rome there are some ruins of the Terme di Traiano (Baths of Trajan), which were constructed for the emperor by Apollodoro in 110 AD. Near the southern entrance to the park, across from the parking lot, the Cisterna delle Sette Sale is visible. This is the cistern where the water for the baths was collected. Continue reading “Cisterna delle Sette Sale Rome”

Circus Maximus Rome

It is a pity that it is not possible anymore to view Rome‘s Circus Maximus in all its splendor, since it is probably the biggest venue of all time with a width of 140 meters and a length of around 600 meters. The Circus Maximus is best known from the chariot races in the famous film “Ben Hur”. Continue reading “Circus Maximus Rome”

Baths of Caracalla Rome

The Baths of Caracalla in Rome are among the most impressive monuments in the Eternal City. The largely well-preserved ruins of these ancient Roman baths are in some spots almost 40 meters high. During the summer months the Baths are used for opera performances. Continue reading “Baths of Caracalla Rome”

Tarpeian Rock Rome

The Tarpeian Rock (Rupe Tarpea) is the rock wall on the south side of the Capitol Hill in Rome. It faces the Roman Forum and it is from this steep 25 meter high cliff that criminals during the Roman Republic were thrown down to die. The luxury fashion house Gucci is financing a restoration of the monument, which is supposed to be completed in 2021. Continue reading “Tarpeian Rock Rome”

Basilica of Maxentius Rome

The Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica di Massenzio) is one of the largest monuments in the Roman Forum in Rome. This former courthouse was the model for the construction of the first churches in Rome, which thus came to be called basilica‘s. Continue reading “Basilica of Maxentius Rome”

Pantheon Rome

The Pantheon is one of the Top 10 tourist attractions of Rome and one of the city’s best preserved monuments. Although it started its existence as a pagan temple dedicated to all the Gods it is at present a Catholic church and officially called Santa Maria ad Martyres. It has survived virtually unaltered since it was erected in the 2nd century AD. The structure of its domed interior is unique.

Pantheon Rome

Useful information

Opening hours: 8.30 AM till 7.30PM (Sundays: 9AM till 6PM; holidays: 9AM till 1PM). Closed: January 1, May, December 25. Admission: Free. Address: Piazza della Rotonda – 00186 Rome. Phone: +39 0668300230. Bus lines: 30, 46, 62, 63, 64, 70, 81, 87, 116, 119, 130F, 186, 190F, 492, 57 (stop: Largo Argentina).

Pantheon history and description

Facade Pantheon Rome
Facade

The facade of the Pantheon faces the south side of the Piazza della Rotonda.

The very first version of the Pantheon was constructed by Agrippa, in the year 27 BC. Agrippa was both the advisor and son-in-law of the Emperor Augustus. At the time it was only meant to be a temple dedicated to Mars and Venus, the protective Gods of the family Julius. At the time the entrance was on the southern side.

There is not much left of the original temple and Hadrian had to have it rebuilt (by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus) almost from scratch between the years 118 and 125 AD. The famous cupola stems from this period.

Hadrian was rather humble for an Emperor and, not being in the habit of having his name inscribed on the buildings he commissioned, he had Agrippa‘s put on the church’s facade.

The Emperor Severius ordered some restorations in the beginning of the 3rd century, but after that the Pantheon was more or less left to itself.

In 608 the Byzantine Emperor Foca donated the building to pope Bonifacius IV, who transformed it into the Santa Maria ad Marytres church.

In 1625 pope Urban VIII took the bronze parts of the Pantheon‘s portico and used them for the four columns supporting Bernini’s baldachino in Saint Peter’s Basilica and also for the 80 cannons of the Castel Sant’Angelo.

In 1870 the Pantheon became the official shrine of the Italian kingdom and Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia were buried in the monument. Another VIP having been laid to rest in the Pantheon is the artist Raphael.

Curiosities

The name signifies “Temple of all the Gods” and it was meant as Hadrian‘s gift to all the people of the Roman Empire.

The structure of the enormous dome is unique and has served as an inspiration for many famous architects. One of these is Giovanni Scalfarotto, who based the design of his San Simeone Piccolo Church in Venice on that of the Pantheon.

Highlights and Tourist Attractions Pantheon

Thanks to inscriptions on the bricks and walls of the Pantheon it has been relatively easy to understand who was responsible for which restorations and modifications of the building.

Monarchist volunteers protect the tombs of the kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I (and the latter’s wife), who are buried in the Pantheon.

The artist Raphael is also buried in the monument, as are Annibale Caracci and Baldassare Peruzzi.

The bas-reliefs on the tympan portray the war between the Gods and the Giants.

Melozzo da Forli painted the fresco L’Annunziazione in the first chapel on the right.

Tourist Attractions near the Pantheon

The fountain in front of the Pantheon was designed by Giacomo della Porta.

Address and opening hours

The address of the Pantheon is Piazza della Rotonda – 00186 Rome (tel. +39 0668300230). Bus lines: 30, 46, 62, 63, 64, 70, 81, 87, 116, 119, 130F, 186, 190F, 492, 57 (stop: Largo Argentina).

Piazza della Rotonda – Rome

House of Romulus Rome

The House of Romulus (Casa Romuli) is located on the western slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome. It is one of a number of huts that were discovered here in 1946. Holes along its circumference indicate where the walls and the doors were. Apart from its foundations not much is left of the original hut. Continue reading “House of Romulus Rome”

Palatine Hill Rome

The Palatino (“Palatine Hill”) is one of the famous seven hills of Rome. It was the first one that was inhabited. According to legend Romulus founded Rome on its slopes, in the year 753 BC. Some years ago the Lupercale, the cave where Remus and Romulus are thought to have been fed by the she-wolf, was discovered. Continue reading “Palatine Hill Rome”