Liepa Valiulytė

Pantheon: Everything You Need to Know Under 5 Minutes

Essential facts about the Pantheon, covering its architecture and historical significance.

Attraction Centro Storico
The ancient Pantheon in Rome, with its famous oculus and dome


The Pantheon in Rome, a masterpiece of ancient architecture and engineering, has stood the test of time as a symbol of Roman ingenuity. This article explores the Pantheon's fascinating history, architectural significance, and its continued allure to millions of visitors.

Setting Expectations: Downsides and Time Considerations

The Pantheon is often crowded, and its central location can be busy. Visitors should plan for a brief visit, as the interior can be explored in about 30 minutes, though the surrounding area warrants additional time.

Tips for your visit to the Pantheon

  • Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
  • Dress Appropriately: As a place of worship, modest clothing is advised.
  • Photography: Photography is allowed, but no flash inside.
  • Guided Tours: Consider a guided tour for a more in-depth understanding.

Enjoy the stunning view of the oculus and the remarkable dome structure.

Practical Information

    Opening Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm, last entry at 7:15 pm.

    How to Get There: Accessible by bus routes 40, 60, 62, and 64. Nearest metro is Barberini on Line A.

    Price: Free entrance.

    Crowds: Can be quite crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.

    Weather Considerations: Indoor attraction, suitable for visiting year-round.

    Photography: Allowed, but no tripod or flash.

    Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible.

    Facilities: No public restrooms or cafes inside.

    Tours: Guided tours available, some with virtual reality experiences.

    These details are subject to change; please check the official website for the latest information

Must-See at the Pantheon

  • The Oculus and Dome

    The Pantheon's dome, the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world, with its central oculus, is a marvel of ancient engineering. The oculus, a 27-foot opening at the dome's apex, floods the interior with natural light and is a spectacular sight, especially when it rains.

  • The Portico

    The grand portico with its massive granite Corinthian columns creates a majestic entrance. This portico leads to the rotunda, showcasing the Pantheon's blend of grandeur and architectural prowess.

  • The Tomb of Raphael

    The Renaissance master Raphael is buried here. His tomb is a site of pilgrimage for art lovers and a testament to the Pantheon's continued cultural significance.

  • The Interior Design

    The Pantheon's interior, with its circular design and geometric patterns, is a sight to behold. The coffered ceiling and the marble floor, featuring a design of squares and circles, are particularly noteworthy.

Take time to absorb the tranquil atmosphere and the architectural genius that defines the Pantheon.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Pantheon in Rome famous for?

    The Pantheon is renowned for its architectural brilliance, particularly its massive dome and oculus. It's one of the best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome and has been in continuous use throughout its history.

  • Is it worth going inside the Pantheon?

    Yes, it's definitely worth visiting the inside of the Pantheon to experience its remarkable architectural features, the oculus, and the tombs of famous historical figures like Raphael and Italian kings.

  • Which famous historical figures are buried in the Pantheon in Rome?

    The Pantheon is the final resting place of the Renaissance artist Raphael, two Italian kings, Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, and Umberto's queen, Margherita.

Historical Background

The Pantheon, originally built as a temple to all gods, was completed by Emperor Hadrian around 126 AD, replacing an earlier temple by Agrippa. Its conversion to a Christian church in the 7th century helped preserve it. Over the centuries, it has influenced Western architectural design, particularly its iconic dome.

Lesser known stories and Interesting Facts

  • The Rain Illusion

    It's a common myth that rain doesn't enter through the oculus due to the architectural design, but in reality, rain does come in, albeit in a limited manner, and the floor's slight convex shape and drainage holes help in its quick dispersal.

  • Symbol of Continuity

    The Pantheon's continuous use over nearly two millennia as a temple, church, and now a tourist site, reflects the adaptability and enduring legacy of Roman architecture and culture.

  • Emperor Hadrian's Mystery

    Unlike most monuments, the Pantheon doesn’t bear Hadrian's name but retains the inscription of the earlier Agrippan temple, leading to historical debates about its actual builder and purpose.

  • The Dome's Inspiration

    The Pantheon's dome became a source of inspiration for numerous significant buildings, including the Florence Cathedral's dome and even the United States Capitol building.

  • Secrets in the Structure

    The exact composition of the concrete used in the Pantheon’s dome, lighter towards the top, remains a subject of study and admiration, showing the advanced understanding of materials by ancient Roman engineers.

Nearby Restaurants

  • Armando al Pantheon: A traditional Roman trattoria just steps away from the Pantheon.
  • Etabli: A chic eatery offering Italian and international cuisine in a cozy setting.
  • Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè: Famous for its coffee, a perfect spot for a quick break near the Pantheon.

Nearby Attractions

  • Piazza Navona: A picturesque square known for its beautiful fountains and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Trevi Fountain: A baroque masterpiece, just a short walk from the Pantheon.
  • Campo de' Fiori: A lively market by day and a popular nightlife spot by night.


The Pantheon, with its rich history and architectural marvels, offers an unparalleled glimpse into ancient Rome and remains a must-visit for anyone exploring the Eternal City. Its legacy as a temple, church, and icon of Roman ingenuity continues to inspire and awe visitors from around the world.