On our Bus tour from Würzburg to Rome, we stopped in Orvieto, Northern Italy for a night. We continued our trip for several hours to Rome. After we settled in our hotel, we did a sight seeing tour with some friends, and found the Pantheon.
The Pantheon was an ancient building that was declared sacred, and now is a church. As a Roman Catholic church, the official Italian name is Santa Maria ad Martyres (Latin Sancta Maria ad Martyres). This building in Rome is colloquially referred to as La Rotonda.
The Pantheon begun under Emperor Trajan around 114 AD and was completed under Emperor Hadrian between 125 AD and 128 AD, had for more than 1700 years
Measured by its inside diameter, the largest dome in the world and is generally valid as one of the best preserved buildings of Roman antiquity. The Pantheon consists of two main elements: a pronaos with a rectangular layout and a temple façade in the North, and a circular, domed central building in the South. A transition area mediates between the two parts of the building, the resulting gussets of the interfaces were used for stairwells.
Built on the Campus Martius, the Pantheon was probably a sanctuary dedicated to all the gods of Rome. The historian Cassius Dio reports that there were statues of Mars and Venus and other gods, and a statue of the recorded as Divus Iulius among the gods Caesar were erected. Which gods should be revered here, however, is controversial, especially since it is not completely clear whether the Pantheon of its original definition was a temple. Maybe it was an imperial representative building, which served in spite of its sacred architecture borrowed elements for secular purposes.
On May 13, about the year 609, the Pantheon was converted into a Christian church and dedicated to St. Mary and all Christian martyrs. In it there are celebrations, especially on high holidays. The church was built on July 23, 1725 by Pope Benedict XIII. raised to title dia- clonie.
The influence of the Pantheon on the history of architecture especially modern times is enormous. The term Pantheon is today also applied generally to a building in which important personalities are buried, resulting from the later use of the Roman Pantheon.