The Pantheon: Design, Meaning, and Progeny - Rome, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member manchanegra
N 41° 53.945 E 012° 28.612
33T E 290702 N 4641650
Quick Description: The Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 11/22/2011 2:02:24 PM
Waymark Code: WMD5PJ
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Bryan
Views: 24

Long Description:
he Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD. The nearly-contemporary writer (2nd–3rd centuries AD), Cassius Dio, speculated that the name comes either from the statues of so many gods placed around this building, or else from the resemblance of the dome to the heavens. Since the French Revolution, when the church of Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, was deconsecrated and turned into a secular monument, the Panthéon of Paris, the generic term pantheon has sometimes been applied to other buildings in which illustrious dead are honored or buried.

The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft). It is one of the best preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda"; the square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.

Since the Renaissance the Pantheon has been used as a tomb. Among those buried there are the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. In the 15th century, the Pantheon was adorned with paintings: The best-known is the Annunciation by Melozzo da Forlì. Architects, like Brunelleschi, who used the Pantheon as help when designing the Cathedral of Florence's dome, looked to the Pantheon as inspiration for their works.

Pope Urban VIII (1623 to 1644) ordered the bronze ceiling of the Pantheon's portico melted down. Most of the bronze was used to make bombards for the fortification of Castel Sant'Angelo, with the remaining amount used by the Apostolic Camera for various other works. It is also said that the bronze was used by Bernini in creating his famous baldachin above the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica, but, according to at least one expert, the Pope's accounts state that about 90% of the bronze was used for the cannon, and that the bronze for the baldachin came from Venice.[21] This led the Roman satirical figure Pasquino to issue the famous proverb: Quod non fecerunt barbari fecerunt Barberini ("What the barbarians did not do the Barberini [Urban VIII's family name] did").

In 1747, the broad frieze below the dome with its false windows was “restored,” but bore little resemblance to the original. In the early decades of the twentieth century, a piece of the original, as could be reconstructed from Renaissance drawings and paintings, was recreated in one of the panels.

Also buried there are two kings of Italy: Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Umberto's Queen, Margherita. Although Italy has been a republic since 1946, volunteer members of Italian monarchist organisations maintain a vigil over the royal tombs in the Pantheon. This has aroused protests from time to time from republicans, but the Catholic authorities allow the practice to continue, although the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage[22] is in charge of the security and maintenance.

The Pantheon is still used as a church. Masses are celebrated there, in particular on important Catholic days of obligation and weddings.

From Wikipedia

The Book "The Pantheon: Design, Meaning, and Progeny" is about the building, it´s design and architecture and how it has influenced buildings all around the world.
It was published by Harvard University Press.
ISBN Number: 9780674010192

Author(s): William L. MacDonald

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