even though i live in rome, i don’t go into a church unless i have a good reason to do so. unless it’s the pantheon, which never ceases to blow my mind.
rome’s pantheon was planned in pre-christian times and was actually a temple. since temples were each dedicated to a specific god, and rome was already full of wayfarers from the world over, just in case they’d missed some god, the romans created the pantheon, which was dedicated to all (from the greek “pan”) the gods (gr: “theon”). it was a nondenominational place of worship, open to all.
then christianity was made into the official religion and the temples were razed. except for the pantheon, with the logic that it was dedicated to all the gods. but all the gods are really one, so this must really be a church dedicated to the one and only true, new god. so it was renamed and thankfully spared.
around two thousand years old, the pantheon is an absolute miracle in architecture. a huge round hole in the middle of the roof allows light (and rain, why not) to make the multicolored stone walls and floors shine brightly.
note: i am a photographer and not a historian, so i wouldn’t really trust any of this info without verifiying it from a more reliable source. but the photographs are all absolutely authentic. this i’m sure of 🙂