Pantheon alone is the only building among all ancient Rome's
structures that is completely intact to this day. Marcus Agrippa built
this structure back in 27 B.C., and the original Pantheon had inscriptions
of the consul's name, which reads M AGRRIPA L F COS TERTIUM
FECIT, which means "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, consul for
the third time, built this." Unfortunately, a fire during A.D.
80 caused the original structure to be destroyed, and Hadrian then
reconstructed it during the 2nd century A.D. Further restoration and
rebuilding were also done by Septimius Severus and Caracalla.
This colossal structure stands 43 meters (142
feet) tall and 43 meters (142 feet) wide, a perfect sphere in a
cylinder. It used to be surrounded by white marble statues of the
various Roman gods. This structure may just be one of the most wondrous
architectural feats in history because of its concept of space and
its dome. Its design was way ahead of its time, and we have Hadrian
to thank for its unique appearance.
The Pantheon was originally built to be a temple
to the seven deities of the seven planets. However, in the 7th century
A.D., the building became a Christian church, instead of the original
Roman religious house of worship. It was its consecration as a Christian
church that eventually saved this historical structure from decay.
Because of its eminence, more restoration projects have been undertaken,
and most of its parts, especially the bronze doors and marble interiors,
have survived the test of time.