Castel dell'Ovo in Naples, fortress & former royal residence

Pantheon – A Roman temple to honor all Gods
The largest unreinforced concrete dome  

Rome/Italy (2018) – It is told, that when Michelangelo saw the Pantheon in Rome for the first time, he said that " looked more like the work of angels, not humans". And even though one would have to know the work of angels first to judge this incredibly beautiful monument like the famous Italian sculptor, painter and architect, in the case of the Pantheon I decided to trust the great master and agree. Given the fact that it was built almost 2.000 years ago and still looks like it does – inside and out – and is next to one of the most frequented tourist sights in Rome also used as a church until today, I have serious doubts that humans created this amazing architectural wonder. The Pantheon was built as a Roman temple and completed by the emperor Hadrian around 126 A.D. The name "Pantheon" comes from the Greek, meaning "honor all Gods" and this exactly was its purpose. As with most of the ancient monuments in Rome also the Pantheon has more than one story to tell. Most historians believe that Emperor Augustus' right hand, Agrippa, built the first Pantheon in 27 BC, but the building burned down in the great fire of 80 AD and was rebuilt by Emperor Domitian. But again the temple was struck by lightning and burned down once more in 110 AD. The Pantheon as we know it today was finally built in 120 AD by Emperor Hadrian. In 609 A.D the Pantheon was transformed into a church which might be the reason that it was saved from being destroyed during the Middle Ages. The Catholic church is dedicated to St. Mary of the Martyrs. And yes, there are Sunday Masses for everyone to join until today. Truly fascinating are the 16 massive Corinthian columns (12m/39 ft tall) at the entry and the giant dome with its hole in the top, also called "The eye of the Pantheon", the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world and considered a great architectural achievement. The first king of unified Italy, Vittorio Emmanuelle II is buried in the Pantheon and so is his son, King Umberto I as well as the famous Renaissance painter Raphael. 
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