The Pantheon is the most preserved and only Ancient Roman building still in use today. It is a Catholic church now and has been since 609ad when Pope Boniface I decreed it so. This act may be the real reason it exists today in such fine condition.
It was built between A.D 118 and 125 by the emperor Hadrian (A.D 117-138) as a temple to all the gods of Rome. When approaching the front of the Pantheon one can see the inscription above still reads in Latin the original dedication by Marcus Agrippa.
“Marcus Agrippa son of Lucius, having been consul three times made it”.
Temple of the Gods
The interior of the Pantheon contains the largest unsupported dome ever built. It contains no windows and the only light comes from a circular hole (oculus) in the middle of the dome. It was a mystery to many over the ages how it was built and Michelangelo believed that it had been constructed by Angels and not men!
Inside twelve statues stood representing the Pantheon of Roman Gods (pan=all, theon=divine). They were Jupiter (father of the gods), Juno (Fertility) , Mars (War), Venus (Love),Minerva (Wisdom), Neptune (The Sea), Ceres (The Harvest), Vulcan (Blacksmith of the Gods), Diana (the huntress and Goddess of the Moon), Bacchus (Wine and Partying), Mercury (Messenger of the Gods) and Vesta (Goddess of the Home).