The Pantheon in Rome was finished in AD 128 under the reign of Emperor Hadrian on a site of an older building dating to Augustus’ time. Pantheon means temple of all gods, it has been a Catholic church since AD 609.
It is the most impressive of Rome’s ancient buildings having been in constant use since it was built. It is also the world’s largest non-reinforced concrete dome.
The dome weighs 4,535 tons and has survived for 2,000 years through the use of sophisticated engineering techniques that the Romans were renowned for. The weakest part of the massive domed roof is its apex and the use of an oculus or permanent hole, seen at the top of this image, actually reduces pressure and strengthens the dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior are both the same at an exact 43.3m.
The five rings of panels seen in the image are known as coffers and also help to lighten the structure of the Pantheon’s dome.
Now, isn’t that an interior worthy of photographing? To learn more about photographing architecture and interiors please contact me to enquire about one of my training sessions.
For more information about my photographic tours and workshops in Italy, including Rome, check out Photography Rome – photo tours in the Eternal City