On our first afternoon we visited the Pantheon. Built in 126 CE, it is perhaps the best preserved of all ancient Roman buildings. It was fortunate that it has been in continuous use since its construction and has been a church since the 7th century CE. So it was never cannibalized for later architectural projects. It is architecturally amazing given its age and is in terrific condition. Here is a frontal shot showing the pediment that tops a columned portico at the building's entrance. Each of the columns is constructed from a single piece of granite.
Behind the portico is a beautifully preserved rotunda topped by a dome. Not only is the rotunda in great condition, it is beautiful--and huge. The interior of the dome is a hemisphere 142 feet across. It is also 142 feet above the floor, so that if a sphere 142 feet in diameter could be placed in the Pantheon, its base would just rest on the building's floor.
I wasn't sure how to photograph the interior. Here is a wide-angled shot providing some perspective and scale.
I also photographed the dome straight up from the center of the floor. Not too helpful, actually. The center, known as an oculus, is open to the elements.
I tried a number of off-center shots of the dome, including one that I converted to a black & white to show off the dome's clean lines.
My favorite of these shots was the following, looking up from close to the dome's edge.
As indicated, the Pantheon has served as a church for the past 13 centuries and there were some of the usual religious trappings.
For me the Pantheon was an unexpected gem. But it is obviously an important landmark as indicated by the following pennant that was fluttering above a nearby restaurant where we had lunch.