The Pantheon

1 April 2006
Next stop, the Pantheon. Originally constructed as a temple to a multitude of pagan gods it was redesigned in the second century by Emperor Hadrian and for centuries has served as a church. A couple of Italian kings are buried here as is Raphael (the great artist, not the ninja turtle).

The most amazing part of the building, though, is its architecture. At the top of its dome is a large hole or oculus (pictured). It is not filled in with glass but is open to the elements. So when it rains, water gets in the Pantheon. There are small holes in the floor of the building that allow water to drain out quickly. A large ring around the inside of the hole serves as a sort of capstone and helps keep the dome from collapsing. It is quite a site.


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