The best-preserved and most beautifully proportioned of Rome’s ancient monuments, the Pantheon has become an emblem of the city. Built by Hadrian between AD119 and AD128, as a temple to the gods, the Pantheon was converted to a Christian church in AD608, the key to its miraculous survival. The main structure is a dome that is equal in height and diameter, and features an oculus, or hole, in the roof that allows light and rain into the building. Most astonishing of all are the large brass doors, which belonged to the original Roman building.
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