Photo: Phant/Shutterstock

This 2,000-Year-Old Roman Temple Was Transformed Into a Marble-Filled Church

Archaeology Culture Rome, Italy
Photo: Phant/Shutterstock
Morgane Croissant
May 3, 2023

There’s a lot to see in Rome: excellent museums, the Colosseum (the most visited attraction in the city), St. Peter’s Basilica (the largest church in the world), and much, much more, including the Pantheon. This impressive and intriguing structure that is just a few minutes’ walk away from the the 85-foot-tall magnificent Trevi Fountain, is one to visit if you want to say you’ve check out all the big items on the Rome must-visit list.

Where is the Pantheon located?

The Pantheon is located in the historic center of Rome, Italy, and more precisely in the Pigna district of the city. It is located eight minutes away from the Trevi Fountain on foot, and 23 minutes away from the Colosseum.

Next door to the Pantheon is the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, home to Michelangelo’s “Christ the Redeemer” statue.

How do I get to the Pantheon?

The closest metro station to the Pantheon is the Barberini station on metro Line A, depicted in orange on the map of Rome’s public transport. It is a 16-minute walk from the metro station to the Pantheon.

You can opt to travel by bus by taking buses #30, #40, #62, #64, #81, #87, or #492 to the Largo di Torre Argentina stop. Then, you’ll only have to walk for six minutes to get to the Pantheon.

What is the Pantheon?

Street view of the Pantheon in Rome

Photo: Phant/Shutterstock

The Pantheon is a large monument in the historic center of Rome, the capital of Italy. Initially, the Pantheon was built as a temple dedicated to the Roman Gods, but it was converted to Christianity and became the Santa Maria ad Martyres Church in the early 7th century and remains as such today.

What is inside the Pantheon?

Photo: Dmytro Surkov/Shutterstock

Photo: Heracles Kritikos/Shutterstock

Inside the Pantheon, you will find pews, an altar, chapels and everything you would expect from a Catholic church. But because it’s not an ordinary building but a masterpiece of architecture, prepare to be blown away by the decor of this circular building. The immense dome and its oculus dominate the marble-filled space.

Who is buried in the Pantheon?

When it was converted into a Catholic church in 608, the Pantheon became the final resting place of many martyrs, but since then, many others have been buried in the former temple, including Renaissance artist Raphael. Two Italian kings, Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Umberto I’s wife, Margherita of Savoy, are also buried in the Pantheon.

When was the Pantheon built and for what purpose?

Commissioned by Roman General and architect Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa around 25 BC, the Pantheon was initially built as a temple to the Roman gods. It was entirely rebuilt much later, between 118 and 125 under Emperor Hadrian. It was converted into a catholic church in 608 by Pope Boniface IV and named Saint Maria ad Martyres.

What is the Pantheon made of?

The Pantheon is made of concrete, bricks, and marble. The concrete used to build the structure has proven to be an extremely strong and durable mix of limestone and volcanic ash.

What does the term “Pantheon” mean?

The term pantheon means “all the gods” in Greek, from “pan” meaning “all”, and “theos” meaning “god”.

In the past, a pantheon referred to a place of worship, a temple. Today, when one says “the Pantheon” most people understand that they are referring to the one in Rome, the most famous of all. There is more than one pantheon in the world, however.

Is it free to visit the Pantheon?

Yes, it is free to visit the Pantheon. On weekdays, you can just walk in, but on weekends and public holidays, you need to make a reservation.

If you want an audio guide or a guided tour of the Pantheon, however, you need to purchase a ticket. Booking online in advance is recommended.

Do you need tickets to visit the Pantheon?

You only need a ticket/proof of reservation for visits on weekends and public holidays. During weekdays, you do not need a ticket to visit the Pantheon.

If you would like an audio guide or a guided tour of the Pantheon, you should book it on the official website in advance.

Pantheon hours of operation

Aerial view of the Pantheon in Rome

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The Pantheon is open from 9 AM to 7 PM.

Is there a Pantheon in Paris?

Yes, there is a Pantheon in Paris. Initially built to be a church named L’Eglise Sainte-Geneviève, it is today the final resting place of people who have had a great impact on France and the French, including philosopher Voltaire, writers Victor Hugo and Emile Zola, scientist Marie Curie, and politician Simone Veil, among many others. The Paris Pantheon was completed in 1790 and was the highest point in Paris before the construction of the Eiffel Tower. Unlike the Pantheon in Rome, one must pay to visit the Parisian Pantheon.

The best hotels near Rome’s Pantheon

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel, Autograph Collection

Photo: Expedia

Photo: Expedia

Photo: Expedia

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The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel is next door to the Pantheon, a three-minute walk from the entrance to the grand monument. Being a five-star property, this hotel has everything to make your stay exceptional, including a rooftop terrace, dry cleaning/laundry services, two bars, and two on-site restaurants. All guests have access to free WiFi and babysitting services. Additional amenities include limo/town car service, buffet breakfast for a surcharge, concierge services, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, free newspapers, and multilingual staff. The 79 guest rooms have premium bedding, laptop-friendly workspaces, and bathrooms with rainfall showers and designer toiletries.

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Antico Albergo del Sole al Pantheon

Photo: Expedia

Photo: Expedia

Photo: Expedia

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The Antico Albergo del Sole al Pantheon hotel is so close to the Pantheon, you only have to walk for 30 seconds to get to the entrance. Ask for a room with a view on the monument to make the most of the location. The four-star property offers roundtrip airport shuttle services, and dry-cleaning/laundry services. Guests can also find car rentals on site and a bar. Additional amenities include limo/town car service, buffet breakfast for a surcharge, front-desk safe, free newspapers, concierge services, 24-hour front desk, and porter/bellhop. The 27 rooms feature premium bedding, air conditioning, free WiFi. Extra amenities include showers, bidets, free toiletries, 55-inch flat-screen TVs with Netflix, streaming services, and digital channels, wardrobes/closets, childcare services, and daily housekeeping.

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Hotel Abruzzi

Photo: Expedia

Photo: Expedia

Photo: Expedia

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Hotel Abruzzi is less than 150 feet from the Pantheon so ask for a room with a view to be blown away by the location. The three-star property offers a free full breakfast, return airport shuttle, and dry cleaning/laundry services. Free in-room WiFi is available, and guests can find car hire on site. Additional amenities include limo/town car service, express check-out, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, concierge services, express check-in, and front-desk safe. The 25 rooms feature free international calls, premium bedding, laptop-friendly workspaces, and air conditioning.

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