Architecture in Rome

Melissa Paukowits

ESC 529



The Pantheon



Dome of Pantheon


            If you ever visit Rome, Italy’s capital, you can not help but view the beautiful classic architecture that dominates this area. This architecture stems from Greek, Roman, and Etruscan influences and pays much emphasis to the vertical column which resembles a pillar. This column was usually made of marble or granite. The three main classical “orders” or “styles” of Roman architecture included Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. These styles can be seen in some of Rome’s most famous landmarks: the Coliseum, and the Pantheon.



The Coliseum- The coliseum was completed around 81 AD and was named after a statue of Nero, a famous Roman Emperor. The real name for the Coliseum is the Flavian Amphitheater. The Coliseum was mostly used for staged battles, wild beast hunts, and theatrical entertainment. It was the first amphitheater raised and held approximately 50,000 people, both sitting and standing. The Coliseum was ellipse shaped, with tiered seating. Three-quarter columns were erected in this stadium and we can see the classical orders visible in the Coliseum. Doric can be seen on the first level, Ionic can be seen on the second level, and Corinthian can be seen on the third level. The materials used to build this great stadium included travertine stone, tufa and concrete. The base of the Coliseum was a wooden floor layered with sand to absorb all of the blood from battles. To take a virtual tour of the Coliseum and to learn more about its architecture, you can visit the website:



The Pantheon- The Pantheon was built somewhere between 27-25 BC under the Roman Empire. After it was destroyed by fire in AD 80, it was rebuilt again in 125 AD under the reign of Emperor Hadrian .It was built as a temple to the gods and was dedicated to the twelve gods of heaven. Thus the reason why the Pantheon is referred to as "Temple of all the Gods." The romans believed that Romulus ascended to heaven from this spot. The Pantheon best represents the Doric order. There is a capital or top of the building and the shaft is the tallest part of the column. The building's dome was the largest dome in the world until 1436 when the Florence Cathedral was erected. As you notice the dome in the pantheon (made out of concrete) you can see that there is a slight hole on the top. This is where the light enters.

The Pantheon has bronzed doors when you enter. The bronzed doors have been restored throughout the years, yet they are originals. Sixteen columns made of granite are also visible. These columns best represent the Doric order.

The interior of the Pantheon is made of marble patterns. To view a video tour of the Pantheon, go to the following website: