The Colosseum (Colosseo) is an almost two thousand year old gladiatorial arena located in the heart..Vatican Information
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Located in central Rome the Pantheon is an almost two thousand year old temple that has withstood the ravages of time and pays testament to the skill and vision of ancient Rome's architects. The Pantheon we see today was erected on the site of a previous Pantheon which was destroyed by fire in 110AD. The current structure was completed in around 126AD and was dedicated by Emperor Hadrian as a temple to the classical gods - 'pan' meaning 'all', and 'theos' meaning 'god.'
The main structure of the building is circular in shape and topped by a massive concrete dome measuring 43.3m in diameter. Until the fifteenth century it was the largest dome in the world and it is still the largest non-reinforced dome in existence. The diameter of the dome matches exactly the interior height of the Pantheon and thus creates a balanced symmetry to the building. The open peak of the dome, the oculus, allows light to spill into the interior and symbolically represents the connection of the temple with the gods. Such was the skill of the architects that any water that enters through the oculus is drained away by virtually undetectable holes in the floor.
At the front of the building is a portico, which was once covered in marble, that is supported by 16 massive Corinthian columns. The inscription above reads "M-AGRIPPA-L-F-COS-TERTIVM-FECIT" and is an abbreviated translation of "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, Consul for the third time, built this."
The Pantheon has been in constant use since it's construction almost two thousand years ago and was converted to a Christian church in the early seventeenth century. It was dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" and has been a Roman Catholic church ever since.
Today the Pantheon is recognised as one of the best preserved Roman buildings and is one of Rome's most iconic historical monuments attracting visitors from all around the world.